The possibility of a Starbucks coffee shop joining the “Gateway to the North End” at Cross Street Plaza has reignited the discussion of chain establishments in the North End. While some, such as the two Hanover Street 7-Elevens and Salem Street’s Peet’s Coffee, seem to be accepted by the community, others like the attempted Pinkberry on Hanover Street can’t survive alongside the local shops.

There are no “anti-chain” laws for the North End, but if it were up to you, would you ban chain establishments in the neighborhood? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

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Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Can that be done legally? I know smaller places can do this, but this is an entire town ban, where they control zoning and police. I remember one town in northern NJ that wanted MacDonald’s out. They wouldn’t allow the golden arches and every time some customer dropped a cup on the lawn, there was a police ready with a citation. They literally drove them out.

  2. Years ago the neighborhood groups were against chains and manages to keep a McDonald’s from coming here. When the two North End Dunkins closed ( where Batter Wharf is now and the one on Salem St ) the neighborhood banned together to keep a Dunkins from Hanover St. At that time the zoning board had members who sided with the neighborhoods. Not sure that is the case these days.

  3. Certain chains are definitely acceptable, however not necessarily supported. Starbucks on the other hand (with it’s 5+ individually owned competitors), not so much….& I’m sorry but if you think Starbucks has a place in the North End then this neighborhood isn’t for you.

  4. How can you say do should we ban chains we currently have two 7/11’s, one Starbucks on Commercial, again Peet’s Coffee what is another Starbucks although I am not a Starbucks drinker to be honest I’d love Dunkin Donuts sorry folks.

    • Dunlin donuts tried to REOPEN on Hanover Street but was fought by neighbors on Hanover Street and they won, The franchise owner even had someone design the interior and got permission from Dunkin Donuts corporate to change the colors to fit into the North End . They still were rejected. ( lots of private $ involved in that battle if I recall correctly). Starbucks on Atlantic Ave is not the gateway to the North End. The landlord of the building where Peets is located signed the lease with Peets without the neighborhood hearing about it until it was too late. People (including me) need to show up at the neighborhood meetings about this and other issues.

    • The CEO of Starbucks is committed to turning it into a public restroom facilty. This will be a handy pitstop for people visiting the North End.

  5. New businesses, like liquor licenses and zoning variances, should be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if they provide a benefit to the residents, not a money making opportunity for outside investors. I think most North Enders are glad we have a CVS in the neighborhood, and miss the TruValue Hardware store. For those who need a Starbucks or Dunkin, I say walk down to Commercial or across the Greenway to Haymarket.

  6. As much as I appreciate polls, let’s make sure we are asking the property owners, the people who support this neighborhood for many years. The reason we bought here years ago is because if the feel and personality.
    There is Faneuil Hall, Seaport, Downtiwn Crossing and Copley. The chains are there. Specifically to resturnants and Starbucks, go ask the New Yorkers in “the virtually non exaistent “ Little Italy if they would make this yes decision again. Folks wake up, we live here because it is quaint, charming and unique. Let’s not loose our personality and history.

    • Bravo, Sandra!! New York City is an excellent example.

      I heard a tourist on Hanover Street not long ago stating, “This looks just like a movie set”. He was completely charmed.
      There is no neighborhood in America that has our unique character, “charm” and authenticity.

  7. Please, we love the North End and the cameraderie on the streets, the neighborhood coffee houses, the small produce market, the Panettiere. No chains.

  8. Chains damage our unique and historic neighborhood. Starbucks are everywhere. We don’t need one in the North End.
    I love their coffee, but I don’t want their intrusion.

  9. This maybe a fait accompli. Since there are several chains in the neighborhood, how do you say no to the next one. Charter Realty probably would care less whether the business is local or a chain as long as they bring money to the table. Also, gateway to the North End is a little subjective. If coming from Fanuel Hall, there is a sign on Atlantic and Cross in Columbus Park. Hanover St starts at City Hall and runs into the North End, no gate. If coming from Haymarket Sta, you see Pete’s first. It’s a high turnover location, so wait a few years to see whether they are still therre.

  10. People in this neighborhood are all phonies. Everyone claims they support local business and then when going bananas try’s to get a beer and wine license people make a spectacle out of it. Keep doing things like that and the whole neighborhood is going to be chains because no one is else is going to pay the rent. Liquor licenses around here go for 400K. You people are nuts.

  11. Just what we need,more people, more cars,more garbage… The north end is to crowded already and the weather isn’t even good…wait till the summer when you can not walk down Hanover street……No To Starbucks

  12. No one needs another Starbucks. This is a public company run by someone who thinks that he still owns it and takes political positions accordingly. Drain the swamp.

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