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North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council Votes in Favor of New Pinkberry Franchise on Hanover St. [Video]

Video: April 1, 2013 NEWNC Meeting – Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt franchise request at 283-285 Hanover St.

The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted 5-3 to support a Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt franchise location at 283-285 Hanover Street. The proposed North End location with 700 square feet was formerly Varese Shoes and most recently Nahas Shoes.

Focusing on their product as unique and healthy, West Coast frozen yogurt chain franchise owners, NE Frog Pond LLC, presented their zoning relief application at this week’s NEWNC meeting with Attorney Daniel Toscano. The zoning variance is to change the occupancy to allow 8 seats for a retail store, the Pinkberry frozen yogurt shop (with the existing apartments above) and a #36A take-out license. The requested license is for 12:00 am midnight closing on weekends and 11:00 pm weekdays.

The franchisee has the rights to establish 15 Pinkberry units in the New England area, with several already in operation including Harvard Square and South Station.

Several abutters and neighborhood residents asked questions at the meeting. Supporters outnumbered those in opposition, although concerns were raised primarily about the cuing of customer lines on the sidewalk outside the store. The applicant said that 60% of its business typically comes between Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

The store will also offer a Greek breakfast yogurt with toppings and open at 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.

The Residents’ Association (NEWRA) previously also voted to support the request. 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.

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13 Replies to “North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council Votes in Favor of New Pinkberry Franchise on Hanover St. [Video]

  1. I’d rather this than a vacant store at the end of the day but…I don’t look forward to seeing these cups all over Hanover St….which we all know, will certainly happen.

      1. Worse is worse….I doubt the workers are going to be policing the outside area for trash every 20 minutes as they stated.

        These new businesses should be forced to come before the board after they are open for 6 months to see if they are living up to their end of the bargain. Doesn’t take a genius to realize new businesses are just going to say what it takes to get things approved…regardless of their intentions. I would like to hear some of the neighbors from the other areas where they are to see how Pinkberry’s trash is handled in those neighborhoods.

        1. NEWRA and NEWNC do not have the responsibility for or the authority to police businesses after 6 mos. The NEWRA Clean streets committee encourages (and acknowledges the good neighbors) businesses and property owners to cleanup but they cannot make them do anything. Pictures of the mess on northendwaterfront.com and in the Regional review might embarrass them into cleaning up but then again…….

          1. If they have the authority to approve these licenses, shouldn’t they also take the extra responsibility for follow-up? It would only have to be for new businesses to make sure they are following the guidelines that were proposed when the original case was reviewed and voted on…and only have to be done once.

            Just a for instance…I believe there is a “rule” that there be no sidewalk signs on Hanover or Salem St. But I see a few new places that have those signs….they, in essence, broke their promise since when their license was voted on.

            1. It is up to Inspectional Services to police the sidewalk signs and street furniture. Something that they do not seem inclined to do. I have never heard of either group having guidelines about this issue. Community groups do not have the authority nor the responsibilty to ask a business or property owner to comeback for anything except a zoning or licensing change.

            2. I know there is one member of NEWRA who always asks about signage. The business in questions ALWAYS states they will not have neon signs though I see many businesses who have appeared before the Council that now have neon signs…who polices that?

            3. The existing restaurants load up the sidewalk with signs as it is, so you can’t really go after the “new” places without going after the “old” places as well…you know, discrimination and all. Same with trash. If you want to hold new shops to a very strict standard on making sure their trash doesn’t end up on the ground (and do you really expect most of the takeout trash from Pinkberry to be right in front of their store? most tourists will take it to go and find a bench to sit and eat), you again have to do the same with the existing places. How many Regina’s and Mike’s boxes do you see all over the neighborhood?

    1. Gimme a break — why don’t you start with all the ignorant “locals” who throw their cigarette butts into the street or leave them burning on the sidewalk.

  2. Is there any major difference between the NEWNC and NEWRA? Does either group actually have any power or are both just advisory votes an that’s it?

    1. Both are advisory only. The difference is that NEWRA is a paid member only voting group and the members of NEWNC are elected by the residents of the NE and WF to serve a 2 yr term.

  3. To clarify: NEWRA is an organization open to all whose primary residence is in the North End/Waterfront neighborhood. The dues are $10/year to cover expenses, such as printing and mailing. Dues are sometimes waived in hardship cases.

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