We received dozens of emails, calls and tweets about the new Pinkberry sign that went up this week at 283 – 285 Hanover Street. Some folks think it is not in keeping with the character of the North End. Others say it is the standard Pinkberry and leave it alone.

The City approved and both neighborhood groups (NEWNC and NEWRA) supported the zoning variances necessary for the frozen yogurt shop to open in the location formerly occupied by Varese Shoes and most recently Nahas Shoes. Signage was a topic at these neighborhood meetings. Although the sign is not “neon” it is questionable whether it meets the expectations set during the neighborhood process.

Some members of the Neighborhood Council have had discussions with the attorney representing the store indicating the sign may be slightly changed. Questions regarding the signage come soon after the windows of the Pinkberry shop were smashed in early July.

The Pinkberry store has become representative of the debate regarding franchise chains re-occupying local stores in the North End. Still to come is the changeover of the White Hen Pantry on Hanover Street to another 7-Eleven franchise in early 2014.

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Disclaimer: Web polls are unscientific.

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30 COMMENTS

    • Sticks out like a sore thumb compared to what? That elegant advertisement (pictured) for Ristorante Limoncello? The Vegas-like, multistory, flourescent Cantina Italiana sign? Cheap, backlit sign boxes (e.g., Ristorante Saraceno, Mother Anna’s, etc.)? The classy and subtle “crowns” and “stars” that are strung up all over North End streets during feast season? The pilfered NSTAR cones residents deploy to reserve parking spaces? Sidewalk-clogging sandwich boards? Alleyway shrines?

      Let’s be honest: the North End—unlike, say, Beacon Hill and Back Bay—does not have a consistent or remotely upscale look to it. Since most businesses in the neighborhood have yet to adopt carved wood signs adorned with gold leaf, Pinkberry’s new sign fits in just fine.

      Let’s just be thankful that a vacant storefront is once again occupied.

  1. Reading these posts about people leaving toilets and garbage on the streets reminds me of an incident that occurred in the 60s when two junkies from East Boston came into the area and decided to spray paint their names on the front of the old Florentine bar on Hanover st. Two or three days later I noticed {much to my delight} two young men wearing rubber gloves with long handled brushes and a bucket of lye removing the graffiti that they left.This was accomplished without police involvement or calls to the mayor’s office.

  2. It looks fine. 7-11 is a chain too, and now there will be 2 on the same street.
    ..and it’s White Hen, not Golden Goose

  3. Again with the idea of it’s not in tradition. Tradition evolves, changes, and adapts. This year the St. Joseph Feast wanted to do something more in line with tradition, and it was shot down. Stop picking and choosing. It’s a business that draws people and a fan base. This fan base could be going any somewhere else instead they are coming to Hanover St.

    • You are so right its all because people are afraid that they are going to make Money and others are going to lose some well this is bizz ether work with others or get out this is what I have to say to all the babies out there
      and please please tell me you never in your life went out of the north end and even in the north end gone to a place that is a franchise or gone to eat at a place in the north end that the owner has more then one restaurant what is the difference in this way only the name but in some way it is all so a franchise but only one person owns it am I right or am I wrong

    • Hi Joe, I read the article on Pinkberry, and that was terrible what he did to a homeless man, but
      if you knew the background of the other people in this area, you would probably go into shock.

      I think people are upset that chains are coming into the area, TOO BAD.

      Let He who has never sinned cast the First Stone. They might have to close down half of the North
      End, if they start doing background checks.

    • joan I find your comments regarding locals insulting….for the record….the tenements were slums….but they did not reflect the way are grandparents and parents kept them….they washed the steps,swept in front of their homes,and provided a sense of security for everyone of us so called locals….as a matter of fact…..the neighborhood and its safe existence is because of locals like we……and the reason many outsiders moved and bought homes here….I have never had a problem with outsiders till now…..

  4. This is a free country. This sign can not compare to the BACCO sign that not only goes down the side of the building, where the restaurant is located but the letters also light up. What is the character of the North End?????? To me the North End is like Disneyland. This is not an Italian neighborhood, in fact I find it to be more of a community made up of students, young professionals, some families.all of different backgrounds and. Over 100 restaurants serving their versions of Italian Cooking . Epcot probably has more Italians representing their country at the Italy pavilion than we having living in the North End. Sorry folks The business community can advertise and push the Italian Neighborhood Theme. But its all PRETEND

    • I brought a friend from Sicily through the North End. Just about none of the menu items are meals that are currently served in Italy. That is ok. I still love chicken parmigiana even though it has nothing to do with Italy. Italians also never serve pasta and meat on the same plate, but I love that.

      I think this neighborhood will really succeed when it transcends its identity as an Italian(-American) neighborhood. I don’t mean to demean that part of its history, it was great. But it is history. It seems very anachronistic to continue to call people immigrant families. We don’t speak of the Poles, or the Irish, or the Jews. These are all just Americans now (see the last century of American social history). I think it is time the Italian-Americans just become Americans, which is what they really are. Note that this is what the New York bound Italian immigrants did last century. This idea of a separate identity is silly. I am from Italian immigrants. I think very fondly of my family. But it is absurd for me to think I am anything but American.

      Just as the colonial-Revolutionary era has passed. So too has passed the immigrant era. Let the next era begin!

      • Still very Italian and sorry if people think a change is needed.we were fine until the yuppies came and now think they own it. Many young families here are descendants of immigrants. That’s why the tradition will continue.we do not need a yuppified No End! Not at all

      • I know pubic is short for Publius…So I’ll pretend to be friends…who do you think you are…insulting us and then appologizing….you were drawn to the safest neighborhood in this country because of the immigrants who took care of this gem of a place and made it the neighborhood that it is….to disregard this is moronic….yes lets bring in more partiers and college kids who give little care about this neighborhood….lets move on to a better era….like the one America is now enjoying….that kind of America….its why we resented any of you people moving in….you disregard what Italian people did in this neighborhood…..the families who invested here as mine has….sowed what is now what you are living in….never served meat and pasta on the same plate….maybe their poverty only afforded them one plate….but they kept their dignity….I would like to end this by insulting you,but I won’t ….you have seen to imply your ingnorance without any help here….

  5. The “Yuppies” came because the Italians left. They sold the buildings that their parents and grandparents busted their asses for and moved on up to places like Revere, Saugus, Medford and Stoneham. The yuppies were smart enough to recognize the value of living in a neighborhood steeped in history and tradition and purchased the properties.
    Many have chosen to raise their families here (and they are not the descendants of Italian immigrants) and many chose to reap the financial benefits of property ownership.
    The children of these families are the new North End. They will be raised here by their yuppie parents. They will go to school here, play in our parks, learn to navigate our streets and grow up feeling blessed to have been raised in a vibrant, caring neighborhood. And one day, they too will hopefully reminisce about the “old days”.
    I am one of those parents. I have chosen to call this neighborhood home for my family despite the noise, litter and other problems associated with city living.
    Change is inevitable. Whether it be a change in population-from Jewish to Irish to Italian to Yuppies or a change in signage, it can be uncomfortable and unwelcoming at times. Our job as neighbors is to try our best to adapt as best as we can without placing blame and to show respect to others despite our differences. As residents, it is our job to expect the same from the business owners as well.
    For better or for worse, the North End will continue to change. Some of it will be embraced and some of it will meet with great resistance from both native North Enders and Yuppies. Fortunately for me, I will never have to choose sides-I am a native North Ender and a yuppie, and extremely proud to be both.

  6. The sign and store are modern and interesting, more than I can say about 90% of the shops and restaurants in the North End after living there for over 8 years. Let them put up whatever sign they want to, it’s advertising.
    Hopefully its a “sign” of more changes to come in the neighborhood!

  7. I think the locals have a passive aggressive stance towards anything not from here. While I think the sign has poor taste, I am by no means going to say they should take it down. Communities will always evolve. Look anywhere else in this city or suburb in a close proximity to the city. I see no reason why certain towns in the city limits feel they are exempt to real world politics and change.

  8. As someone who grew up in this neighborhood my entire life. Who cares stop calling people yuppies and everyone is so worried about one place. It’s not about the traditions of the neighborhood it’s about money. I enjoy Pinkberry, they are not ruining our neighborhood. It would be different if they were trying to take away a tradition cherished like Saint Anthony’s feast. Lets worry about the landlords renting to retards that cause trouble and deface property. Not about professionals who move in because the neighborhood is safe. I’m not a business owner. I do not care about Pinkberry, if Burgerking was trying to open up a place on Hanover st different story. No one cared or did anything for years now all of a sudden everyone is up in arms. Give me a break!

  9. Walked by Pinkberry today and saw two of my former students who were so excited about its opening on Friday.. When they asked about what I thought about the sign, I hesitated because I do not like it much, but in a way, it is light and fun. Met one of the young workers who was extremely friendly. Hey, lunch at Umberto’s and frozen yogurt for dessert- nothing better! Let’s move on to real problemsin the North End.

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