Another One Bites the Dust: Peet’s Coffee Closes

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Peet’s Coffee is closing at the corner of Salem and Cross Streets in Boston’s North End (NEWF Image)

Peet’s Coffee at 48-50 Salem Street in the North End is closing its doors for good today, Friday July 13, after opening in December of 2015.

Before Peet’s Coffee came into the North End, the location was the site of the bar, Goody Glover’s. According to staff members, the chain is closing due to general lack of business, not because of anything having to do with locals enthusiastically opposing and prevailing against a Starbucks chain trying to open across the street. Chain franchises have a mixed history in the North End, with two 7-11s and a CVS on Hanover Street, while frozen yogurt shop Pinkberry closed up shop after a few years.

Staff members attribute Peet’s closing to the fact that the store simply had less business during its second year than the first. Allegedly, the third year would not be much better. Julianna, who will be moving to the Harvard Square location explained, “They let us know two weeks ago that we were closing. I think the customers are more upset than we are. It is possible that people in the North End are reluctant to embrace a chain, but it feels like a local coffee shop and I know all of the customers by name”.

Nick Knellinger of Charlestown with Peet’s employees Julianna Maximl of Chelsea and Claire Schneider of the North End.

Nick Knellinger of Charlestown said, “It is too bad that they are closing. I come here all the time on my way to work in the Seaport.”

Adrienne Gagliardi and Tyson Robb work outside on Peet’s patio.

Outside on the patio facing the Rose Kennedy Greenway, two other customers were upset that Peet’s is closing. Tyson Robb of the North End just moved back to Boston last week and has enjoyed the outdoor space that Peet’s provides. Robb said, “Co-working space in Boston is so expensive.” Robb hopes that city officials look into this issue.

Adrienne Gagliardi of the North End also comes to Peet’s to do work. Gagliardi asked, “So now where do we go to do work outside?”

The manager of Peet’s declined to comment on the closing or future plans for the property.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Free city “co-working space” does exist. There is free WiFi on the Greenway. Otherwise the libraries are there if people don’t want to work outside or in a coffee shop. Or.. I don’t know, work at home.

    Maybe if people purchased coffee there in stead of just using it as an office it wouldn’t have closed.

    • Steve – while I agree that there are other workspace options, losing Peets does present a problem for those in the neighborhood that have the option to work remotely. WiFi on the Greenway is not reliable. Libraries are great but have mixed policies in regards to people talking on the phone. Peets was a good option because the WiFi was reliable and it was accepted practice to take/make calls if necessary (no shushing or stare downs). Working at home isn’t an option for everyone, unfortunately. For example, I have the option to work remotely but often can’t work from inside my apartment – my daughter gets babysat there and my windows face a noisy street.

      That being said – totally bugs me that people would go there and “work” without making a purchase. Would have definitely supported a policy to uphold this (have to make a purchase to get WiFi password, for example)

  2. Bummer. I enjoyed coming here for coffee and to do some work. Employees were always friendly, too. I’ll miss it, good luck to all employees

    • I’m very leery of these oublic free WiFis. They are unsecure and not well monitored or maintained. They make good places to mount viruses and spread them during connection time. When traveling I generally use my phone as a secure hub even though hotels and airports generally offer free WiFi.

    • One reason why I thought the Starbucks debate was overblown. I figure they would have met the same fate. These coffee shops either make money or parish. The parent companies don’t fool around with losing operations. One advantage smaller operations have over them is they have more flexibility to turn the operation around as they see it failing. One detriment to operating in the North End is neighborhood councils limit that flexibility.

  3. So what if Starbucks signs a lease here instead – will the neighborhood still be mad and try to fight it? Seems like a good solution to me.

  4. I wanted a Starbuck or even a Dunkin Donuts. There was a Dunkin on Salem Street many years ago.
    I think Starbucks or Dunkin would do amazing at either location and I also think those two businesses would be able to keep up with the high rents.

  5. Wifi? That’s the concern? Too funny.

    Anyway, no ”mom and pop” business will ever be able to afford the rents at these locations. Get used to vacant store fronts on this block for the foreseeable future.

    How’s that for a gateway look to the North End?

  6. I personally think that it would be much easier for people to wrap their heads around the dynamics of this area if we all think of it as “the edge of the Greenway” rather than “the Gateway to the North End”

  7. There are individuals who own businesses in the NE who have done extremely well and have the deep pockets to turn this site into a thriving block and to come up with a plan that just about everyone can agree on.Otherwise as someone wrote get used to vacant store fronts.

  8. Seeing the high turnover in this area, the result might be a rent reduction. As a business you need to assess risk. The risk is higher if the cost of doing business higher. The landlord might have to lower rents or face vacancy to attract businesses.

  9. I would love nothing more than to see thriving businesses. However, one of these individuals had a business years ago in that very location and it failed miserably. Not sure they are willing to take the financial risk.

    It’s a tough location in that tourists and visitors usually will not settle on eating/patroning the first place they see when entering the North End.

    I know people are nostalgic about the “old” north end as am I. But I’m sorry to say those days are (sadly) behind us.

    Remember the days of “rent control”? That is what made the north end what it was. Families could afford to stay. No longer is that the case.

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