Business Food & Drink

Poll: How Do You Feel About Major Chains and Franchises Opening Up in the North End?

There are already some major chains and franchises in the North End, such as 7-Eleven, Starbucks and CVS. Now, frozen yogurt franchise, Pinkberry, at 283-285 Hanover St. is currently going through the neighborhood process having already won one group’s support. We’ve heard both sides. Is the community welcoming good businesses that the public wants or is the North End on its way to become the next Harvard Square? Vote in the poll and let us know what you think. Feel free to also comment at the end of this post.

Poll ends April 10, 2013. Web polls are unscientific and represent only self-selected participants.  One vote per IP address (computer or device).

10 Replies to “Poll: How Do You Feel About Major Chains and Franchises Opening Up in the North End?

  1. We’ve been waiting for a promised supermarket chain (or a non-chain supermarket) to open in the North End for 15 years or more. We read that Wegmans plans to open in the Fenway, and we read that supermarkets are interested now in urban locations. So where are the Mayor and BRA, who have promised a supermarket in one of the new Bulfinch Triange high-rises? Shows
    you what promises by politicians are worth.

  2. As long as we don’t get overrun with chain restaurants up and down Hanover, I’m OK with it. In fact I think the neighborhood needs a little more variety. The Italian places are nice but oversaturated, and we can get rid of the bottom 10% to allow more diversity in the restaurant choices. There are clearly some Italian joints here that serve crap but use the North End reputation to keep customers coming in. These places are generally poorly managed and are a drag on the good restaurants around them, and they damage the reputation that they depend on.
    As for Pinkberry in particular, I hope they do open up and are very successful. I love my gelato, but sometimes you need something a little lighter and just want some fro-yo, you know?

    1. So will it be you who decides what the “bottom 10%” is while you’re munching on your “fro-yo”? Sounds to me like you just got out of high school.

  3. Chain stores and restaurants are truly American. It is the culture and way of life to the rest of the country. What has always made the North End of Boston and few other pockets of communities in the US different is that we have maintained a Mom & Pop culture. Allowing CVS, 711,Pinkberry greatly diminishes the neighborhood’s way of life. If people want chains they should live somewhere else. I encourage local support of neighborhood groups, local support of neighborhood shops and local support of the concept of the word neighborhood. Knowing our neighbors and shop keepers makes our community. It is why people come to visit because they live in a antiseptic, homogenized, tasteless world and seem to appreciate the way the country use to be before the take over. Variety is important and the Italian theme has been saturated, but giving independents a chance is hopeless with the price of retail rents. We need more business like LuLu’s, Prince Postale, Mangia Mangia, Theo’s, Cobblestones and less of the homogenized chains stores. We now live in a mall with and Italian theme. This is not Little Italy. Its the home to corporate white people who are clueless.

    1. The old expression of the “Jeannie is out of the Botttle” applies to my beloved late North End when it comes to Retail Chain Businesses. Since we will never be able to get “The Jeannie back in the bottle”, we should focus our energy on achievable goals such as the signage issue. Keeping Chain Businesses out is an issue that should have been addressed 20 years ago. Current signage trends are making the neighborhood a mish-mash of ugly signs and promises to get worse, if we don’t act . The signage issue is real!!!! We should not be soley concerned with “Chain Store Signage”, but with some of our so called “Italian Eateries” who have also shown a complete disregard and have erected some horrible and offensive looking signs. Why is it that other neighborhoods like the Back Bay and Beacon Hill have say over the size and color of the signage, while we are getting buried with circus like colored signs??? I understand change and embrace It when it is approached with some sensivity and a desire to preserve those aspects that gave the North End character. It makes me very sad to see what is happening to my beloved late North End! Wake-Up my native North Enders and make your voice heard, we are in the 11th hour of this nightmare. The cumulative effect of safety concerns, noise, dirty streets, garbage thrown out at at will and now the signage issue is almost overwhelming and is destroying the character of our neighborhood!!

      1. I do not agree with the caustic rhetoric, but do agree that good zoning will have some degree of uniformity and we do not have that now. Business owners are doing whatever they please – putting out chalkboards in the sidewalk, ugly signs, dumping trash out into the street (try walking by Rabbia’s or Famiglia Giorgio on Salem in the morning).

      2. Dom, You wrote a great article, and I only hope that our City & State Officials are reading these articles.

        The problem taking place at 37 Charter St. is what is bothering me, along with the trash, noise, bottles & cups
        & paper dishes, dog crap, and they are looking to put more liquor licenses in this City, hopefully out of the
        North End.

        God Bless you Dom, you are a Great Man, and there is not many of you left.

      3. Dom, Look around you, sorry to say the North End, as we knew it, is over. I am stressed out everyday with what goes on here but we are now the few and the truth is, we cannot make it go back. Pattie

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