The west coast frozen yogurt chain known as Pinkberry is set to come to the North End’s Hanover Street. Franchise owner, Tom Bock of NE Frog Pond LLC presented the zoning relief application at this week’s meeting of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) Zoning, Licensing & Construction Committee. Bock has the rights to establish 15 Pinkberry franchises in the New England area, with several already in operation including Harvard Square and South Station.
The proposed North End location for the new store is 283-285 Hanover St., formerly Nahas Shoes. The zoning variance is to change the occupancy to allow 8 seats for the Pinkberry frozen yogurt shop (with the existing apartments above) and a #36A take-out license.
ZLC Committee co-chair David Kubiak explained that the location has long been a retail shoe store and if the application is approved, the site could later be used as a restaurant without further zoning relief. The applicant said they would support relief with the proviso of “this provisioner only” by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The requested license is for 12:00 am midnight closing on weekends and 11:00 pm weekdays. The stores now offer a Greek breakfast yogurt with toppings and will be open about 9:00 am. The Pinkberry franchisee said they would will be willing to purchase a Big Belly trash receptacle for the sidewalk outside the store and plans to use simple signage (no neon) on an awning.
This presentation was for informational purposes. NEWRA and the Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) will likely vote on the request at an upcoming meeting. Both groups are advisory and the final zoning relief decision will be made by the Zoning Board of Appeal. A ZBA hearing is scheduled for April 9, 2013 at City Hall, Room 801.