Despite on and off speculation of alternate plans, the White Hen Pantry on the corner of Hanover and North Bennet Streets has closed and appears destined to become a 7-Eleven store. Over the past few years, most White Hen Pantry locations have been converted to the 7-Eleven brand and format.

*Advertisement*

A building permit on the door of the shop at 342 Hanover Street says, “Interior remodel of existing 7-Eleven retail store.” This will result in two 7-Eleven chain stores closely located to each other on Hanover Street. An existing 7-Eleven owned by a separate franchisee is already operating at the corner of Commercial Street.

To date, there have been no neighborhood group announcements regarding an application to sell alcohol or extend hours beyond that of the previous White Hen store. Such changes would likely spur a neighborhood review process and require city licensing approval.

31 COMMENTS

  1. I am not looking forward to having another 7-11 in the neighborhood, it seems very unnecessary. it would be nice to see more variety, I am sad that Local Roots just closed that is exactly the type of business should go in the old Whit Hen location

    • You do realize that White Hen Pantry, which was a Chicago based company, was purchased by 7-11 several years ago?? So for the past 5 years the store was merely operating un the White Hen Pantry logo even though it was truly a 7-11 store. So there was really always two 7-11’s in the neighbor hood.

      • Yes technically they are owned by the same company, but they were different types of stores, White Hen sold sandwiches, deli meats and in my opinion has more variety then 7-11.

      • Not true. This White Hen was not operating as a 7-Eleven. It carried no 7-Eleven products. The owner of this White Hen was working at his store every day. He tried to figure out a way to become his own independent store but there was no way to keep his location. It is true that 7-Eleven bought the White Hen brand and name, but this location sold the same products it always had until it closed.

        • Umm I am sorry it is true, because White Hen no longer existed as of I think in 2009 or around that time when it was purchased. White Hen the brand operates as subsidiary of White Hen, much like many of the mom and pop stores that sold to Tedeschi’s still keep there own name. So in fact any White Hen Brand is actually 7-Eleven brand, as you actually pointed out yourself.

          • If you think that this White Hen was operating as a 7-Eleven for the last five years, you must have never went in the store. The owner had been fighting the change at his franchise. The corporate owned White Hens changed to 7-Elevens after the purchase, but this and a few other private franchise stores resisted while they were trying to find a way to just become their own independent stores. Unfortunately, our White Hen could not make it work, but it never carried ANY 7-Eleven products and never took orders from 7-Eleven.

          • Unless you are blind, you can see that whatever you call them, those two stores were completely different. WH sold fresh produce and had a great deli. 7-11 sells hot dogs on a rotating heater. Night and day.

            WH was always well stocked w/ specialty products (Pastene, etc). 7-11 catered to drunk 21 year olds looking for a frozen burrito at midnight.

            • While 711 techinically bought out white hen a few years back, this one was absolutely operated differently than the 711 at the end of hanover. They even had a deal to sell Parziale’s pizza by the slice (at reasonable prices), which was great given Parziale’s somewhat limited hours. Full deli, fresh produce and italian specialty products as well – They really catered to the neighborhood.

              The 711 at the end of Hanover has a huge variety of disgusting precooked food under heatlamps. I’d be shocked if you could even get a decent can of tomatoes in there or garlic or onions or anything like that. If you want a mama celeste’s pizza, you can find a frost bitten one there, but they sure as hell don’t have Parziale’s by the slice. The hen will be missed.

  2. I really miss the White Hen. Great sandwiches and friendly staff. If you asked me what the neighborhood does not need, I think another 7-Eleven is pretty high up on the list.

  3. Retail has had a tough time on Hanover Street in the last couple of years. It cannot be for lack of foot traffic, which makes me think that the landlords charge very high rents to lease the space. If they are going to continue to charge these types of rents, and price out new local businesses, we are going to see more pinkberry’s, and national chains move in. I’m pretty sure nobody wants that…

    • I would love to have my t-shirt store in the North End. It has been so tempting to open our SupahFans Streetwear brand across from Mark’s Connah Store. The Nahas family kept me in the loop on the state of North End retail, including countering a recession, their challenges to compete in an ever-growing online marketplace, and of course the rising rental rates. We gotta sell a whole lotta t-shirts to pay a month’s rent. Sorry to hear that Local Roots just closed.

  4. Feel bad for the man that rented that spot . He was there along time and looked heart broken every time he talked about closing . Hope he can find something else….

  5. It is such a shame that this neighborhood is so divisive and cannnot work together to maintain a good quality of life here. Two gaudy 7/11’s are not welcome or attractive here.
    More importantly, where is Esther going? She’s awesome!

    • Do not even go there about a Dunkin Donuts on Hanover St!! In 2004 there was a DD planned for Hanover St at the 7-11 end that went so far to please the nay sayers that they spent a ton of $ getting corporate permission and hired an architect to make it look more like an Italian cafe than a DD store. It was an ugly time between the pro DD faction and the anti DD businesses and residents on Hanover who lived at that end.

      • I would much rather a Dunkies than any of the other over priced options we currently have (Thinking Cup, Boston Common Coffee, etc.).

        • Walk over to Haymarket to get Dunkies. Always bums around there. Side note, I am sure Pinkberry will be gone soon enough. Not too busy there. They will struggle a lot in cold months.

            • Only people I ever see in there are females under the age of 25. So while there are a lot of that demographic in the North End, I question whether it will be sustainable…especially in the dead of Winter.

  6. Dunkin and 7-11 both bring people begging for money and other undesirable folks to the neighborhood. Nobody wants that!

  7. In the past seven months, 16 Dunkin Donut shops have been robbed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

    Time to Make the Donuts! (at home).

  8. What this neighborhood really needs is a cooking school….wasn’t one of the developers talking about that a while ago? Tourists would eat that up — a chance to make your own pasta, etc.

  9. When 7-11 bought out White Hen, Dan Costa’s “White Hen” on Hanover became independent of both. Dan ran it as an independent merchant, and he ran it very well. He also cared about the people who live in this neighborhood – he opened early, closed at a reasonable time, kept the items he knew we needed despite having options that could have brought more profit, and he decided against an initial proposal to add the sale of alcohol (like so many other “convenient” stores had done), when we residents voiced concern. That concern included the fear that some of his products important to us would have to go, to make room for the beer and wine (sound familiar?).

    I’ve been told that Dan offered a rent equal to or greater than what 7-11 will pay. The “why” behind losing White Hen and “gaining” 7-11 can only be answered by the landlord. It was his decision alone. The neighborhood spoke loudly against the change, but was ignored. However, there is a chance we won’t be ignored when 7-11 seeks to add a new retail alcohol license or transfer the retail alcohol license from its present location. We may also not be ignored when 7-11 seeks permission to be open 24 hours. We residents need to stay on top of this, and we should be contacting the appropriate agencies at City Hall and voicing our opinions now. Beer and wine sales would end at 11:00 PM, but can you imagine a 24-hour 7-11 (an oxymoron) at the corner of Hanover and North Bennet?

    Dan held out hope that the landlord would renew his lease, and if that had happened, Dan wanted to finally dispose of the White Hen name and give the store a name of his own. I suggested “Esther’s Spa.”

    • I was always in White Hen I agree with most of what is said I know that Dan offered the most he could to renew lease but 7/11 offered more and the greedy land lord took it. How bad is that! This is not good at all

      • Hmmm so by your logic if your employer offered you more salary you wouldn’t take it, because that would be greedy????? I mean honestly that is the most illogical argument I have ever heard!! Maybe Dan should have raised the prices so he could have afforded the new rent increase, but I’m sure you would have been complaining

        • Seriously. First off, taking the best offer is far from “greedy”. It’s what most logical people would do. Second. Yes, I can “imagine” 7’11 being open 24 hours. What exactly would the big deal be about that? You have places on that street open until 3am, and others that open at 7am. Why would it be so horrible for a place to be open at 4am? 5am? What about the doctor coming home at 3 in the morning and dying for a gatorade or gallon of milk?

  10. Bosguy, I think that the odds of running into a drunk or someone who is up to no good are far greater at 3 AM than a “doctor” looking for Gatorade or a gallon of milk.

  11. This is one of the saddest things that I’ve ever read.

    I used to work for the White Hen for five years. Dan was the victim of a terrible squeeze put on by 7Eleven in the name of a corporate takeover. His franchise contract ran for two years after the buyout, for which he was grateful, but also a little scared. He ran that store for over a decade and supported dozens of college students and neighborhood kids with work as well as a neighborhood with inventory that complemented most peoples’ needs. But the time the buyout happened, things changed drastically.

    There were three people in an office in Chicago running the handful of White Hens that were left. The support staff we had when things broke were either laid off or left for other opportunities. Even the lawyers in his defense were unhelpful.

    The capital in the store would not be repaired. The floors started to crumble and tiles weren’t replaced. The refrigerators broke constantly. Under any other circumstances, the company would have paid for those repairs, but the point is that 7Eleven wouldn’t, in the name of a jealous frenzy to take control of his business.

    While most of the price increases of the product in his store were due to common inflation, a lot of it also stemmed from the fact that he was paying a lot of debts out-of-pocket. Anybody in his shoes would most likely have done the same thing, despite the very strong feelings that a LOT of the neighborhood had in contempt for Mr. Costa.

    North Enders, it’s a shame that I’m writing a eulogy for the little store that could. I wish that you all would be a little bit louder about refusing to let yet another 7Eleven go on Hanover Street. Part of it is due to Matilda, whose family owns the building, but I’m willing to bet she’s happy with whatever revenue will go literally underneath her. But for what it’s worth, for what 7Eleven did to make sure the White Hen left the way it did, you’d better believe they’ll do it again to whoever is willing to fight for something different going in there. Don’t let the gentrification happen. Put something meaningful there.

Comments are closed.