• Proposed beer garden causing controversy between South End residents

    Updated:

    Residents in Boston's South End neighborhood have mixed feelings over a new development coming to their area.

    Nestled right underneath the Southeast Expressway, Castle Island's seasonal beer garden will debut in May, where the company is expecting to have 20 tap lines flowing.

    "I think it'd be nice for the neighborhood, they already did the whole renaissance and everything, I think it'll be pretty nice," said Taylor Welborn.

    The 8-acre underpass where the beer garden will be set has undergone a lot of change in recent years.

    Dubbed as the Underground at Ink Block, the space underneath the Southeast Expressway has been 'designed to create new connections between old neighborhoods.'

    National Development has played a significant role in developing the area into an 'active urban park' where people can come together to enjoy street art and the many other amenities the park has to offer.

    However, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of having a beer garden in the park.

    Ken Smith, president of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association in the South End, an adjacent neighborhood to the area beneath 93. He said the neighborhood association was never told about the proposal, something which, under city regulations, is a standard procedure.

    "It's something new that's gonna happen at the edge of our neighborhood, we hadn't been aware yet," said Smith.

    While Smith has a valid argument, the park is situated on state and not city land, meaning the developers weren't required to let the neighborhood association know about the project.

    After Old Dover raised some of their concerns regarding the beer garden, National Development and Castle Island are meeting with the neighborhood association on Tuesday to address those questions.

    "Our understanding is that people are supportive, but they wanted the opportunity to ask some questions and get a better understanding of what we're doing," said Castle Island President Adam Romanow.

    Romanow said he's looking forward to working with the neighborhood association, but is even more optimistic about getting the Norwood-based brewery closer to it's namesake in Southie.

    "We've always wanted a chance to bring it back a little closer to the city, so we are psyched to be able to do that," said Romanow.

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