Arts & Culture Food & Drink

Chamber Proposes Cultural Signs


At this week’s North End Chamber of Commerce meeting, it was proposed to have three cultural “over the street” signs that would define the North End as Boston’s Little Italy. Inspired by a recent trip to San Diego (see above picture), Damien DiPaola presented the plan for three signs, 2 at each end of Hanover Street and 1 for Salem Street. Analogous to the Chinatown arch, Chamber members wish to display Italian cultural heritage. Individual restaurant owners at the meeting volunteered to pay for the signs.

President Joanne Anzalone noted that the signs would go in commercial areas and would have to be tasteful. She noted that the Chamber has been working on over-the-street banners for a while and that remains an option.  The Chamber plans on contacting City officials about the proposal.

Complementing the over the street signs, members discussed the possibility of banners on the side of street lamposts. Pictures were distributed showing famous Italian people on the vertical banners. Chairman Frank DePasquale suggested that instead of people, the banners could be sold as advertising to Italian companies such as Ferrari and Barilla Pasta in order to raise money for the Chamber.

Other issues discussed at the meeting:

Rat Problem – The Chamber views the rat problem as being caused by resident trash because streets such as Fulton St. are among the most infested. Restaurant trash is put out after 11pm in covered containers. It was noted that the press coverage of the City’s rat hearing has hurt business.

Combined Neighborhood Board –The Chamber reiterated its desire to have one licensing and zoning advisory board rather than applicants presenting separately to NEWRA, NEWNC and the Chamber. A letter has been sent to the Mayor and City Council members.

North End Tours – The Chairman proposed a Chamber-sponsored North End market tour because existing tours are excluding Chamber businesses, such as the new pasta shop and other cafes.

North End Restaurant Week – The Chamber is planning its own restaurant week to boost business in the winter.

Marketing – Several radio stations pitched the Chamber on various promotions.

Rewards Networks (formerly iDine) presented a proposal where their members would be incentivized through frequent flier miles to dine at restaurants that sign-up for the program in exchange for 14.5% of the check. Restaurant reviews would also be solicited, although only positive reviews would be published.

6 Replies to “Chamber Proposes Cultural Signs

  1. Of course they think the rat problem is caused by residential trash. The food waste and grease they produce on a daily basis, the food they store in basements are hermetically sealed so that rats and roaches will never be attracted to restaurant waste. NOT!

    The single neighborhood organization….NOT.

    The advertising banners that Frankie D has been unsuccessfully trying to convince the city to let him put up for years…tacky.

    The Little Italy sign. Just one more addition to the DIsneyfication of the North End . Wny do we need it. Except for the CHINA HOUSE, it is pretty obvious from the restaurants, cafes, and gelato places that you are in Little Italy.

  2. I agree with Joyce. The little Italy signs are tacky. The North End is the North End. No one really refers to it as "Little Italy" and the neighborhood is already overburdened with signs. As for the rat issue, it’s a trash problem. Any household or restaurant that produces trash is a potential cause and/or solution. To pin it on one or the other is ignorant and wrong.

  3. OMG. Michele Topor is ignoring Frankie’s pasta shop! Let’s run a Chamber tour to compete with the woman who has been promoting the North End with her world famous market tours for years but happens to feature businesses other then a DiPasquale venture. GIVE ME A BREAK!

  4. You have got to be kidding me (about the signs). That is so not Boston. Let’s keep it real. The North End lets you know when you are in it. And as for real, Frank’s shop packs in lovely authentic products and real handmade pasta. It should be part of any market tour. I cannot confirm that anyone is excluding it through any other source than above, but all operators are free agents, including tour guides. I certainly would include it though.

    Maybe on the signs, some other type of historical markers that are more colonial in their design could be considered.

  5. Michele Topor is free to include whichever businesses she chooses as representative of the nature of the North End, as she has done for many many years. It is her business model! Perhaps Frankie and a few others should talk to Ms Topor instead of trying to compete with her. But then again, what was I thinking?

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