Community Real Estate

Reader Poll: If Not Starbucks, Then What?

The proposed Starbucks at the corner of Hanover and Cross Streets has been strongly opposed by many North End residents and businesses. Last week Mayor Walsh encouraged the applicant to withdraw the proposal, and since then we’ve learned it’s been deferred indefinitely.

Cross Street buildings are set for demolition and redevelopment by property owner, Charter Realty. (NEWF image)

If the Starbucks does indeed get withdrawn or denied, what would you like to see instead? Keep in mind the rent for this space is speculated to be as high as $30,000 per month. Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

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

42 Replies to “Reader Poll: If Not Starbucks, Then What?

  1. Pool Hall… that’s an interesting thought. It’s actually surprising there isn’t a single place to play pool in the North End, of all Boston neighborhoods. This would be a neat addition.

    1. Why not put that where Peets used to be. Pool tables upstairs and bar downstairs like it was configured when it was Goody Glover.

      1. You could hardly pass someone in that hallway they called a bar, let alone put a pool table with the necessary clearance

  2. People can say they want whatever they want, but it’s going to be hard to find an entity that can afford rent that high. Be realistic.

  3. By serving drinks & maybe food/apps…. & $30K a month? We’re not talking about renting out a penthouse in Midtown Manhattan…

    1. People who opposed Starbucks do not want a bar/restaurant at this location .That would be like winning the battle but losing the war.Trust me.

  4. I just don’t get the outcry against Starbucks?! What is so authentically Italian about a nail salon ? There is a Peets and SB on Atlantic Ave. Why the strong opposition now?
    No one going into Starbucks will take business away from Cafe Vic, Modern Pastry or Cafe Del Sport etc. SB could never compete with the authentic Italian experience that those NE institutions gives its customer. Cross St is not the heart of the NEnd. Would I oppose a Starbucks on Hanover, Salem, Richmond St etc. Yes I would! But Cross St – No. I own property for 40 years adjacent to this development at 57-61 Salem St & would rather see a long term financially secure tenant then frequent vacancies. Charter has been very transparent, reasonable & responsible with their building height and tenant mix. Let them secure SB and others for a financially stable and permanently improved block as the gateway to the NEnd.

    1. Peets is closing it’s doors this Friday after being there for three years. A visitor center / north end history museum. would be great but who is going to pay the $30000 per month? Would the businesses chip in ? Who would run it? Who would keep thE bathrooms clean and free of the homeless who hang out on the Greenway ?

      1. One thing we should agree on is the fact that the monstrosity known as SB. know what their doing and aren’t stupid.With the location that they chose they knew they could attract and lure the visitors and tourists before they ever set foot in the NE In doing so of course they would siphon business and cut into the profits of the established business and Cafes on Hanover St.

  5. May I suggest a Wedge & Fig? Or perhaps something like “Fork” but contemporary and domestic? I’d say some sort of downtown swapping center, but I’m not sure I’ve thought it out all that well. 🤷

  6. The solution is for the City or State to donate this parcel to the North Enjd’s Taxpayers and create a Visitors Center and a Veterans memorial and apply for grants to build it. that is self-sufficient

    1. There was one for many years on Hanover Street, Varese Shoes. That was later replaced by another shoe store. Subsequently, that was replaced by Pinkberry, which has since closed.

  7. Put some old time Italian stores like the North End was years ago; bakery; butcher shop; fruit & veggie store; Italian cafe! Split the rent!!!

    1. Joanne, I think you’re onto something…instead of one large retail operation to replace Starbucks, why not divide the space into two or three smaller, less expensive storefronts that local merchants could more reasonably afford. When the developer was asked if any of the former tenants were offered an opportunity to stay, the Juicery was interested, but didn’t need a store the size of the propopsed Starbucks. Let’s see if Charter Realty is really interested in working with the neighborhood and redesigns the space instead of going for the highest rents possible.

  8. Perhaps the strong preference for a “North End Museum” is because a “Boston Museum” was supposed to go up right across the street on the Greenway’s Parcel 9 . According to the BBJ, the dream was “dead” in 2013: Museum’s low glass complex design at Haymarket Square even looks similar to what’s being proposed as the “North End Gateway”.

  9. I selfishly want a Boston Burger Company or Shake Shack. There’s not too many sole\big\casual\burger places in the area, so I doubt it will siphon too much income from other nearby eateries. Is there even a burger place in Faneuil Hall or Boston Public Market? Closest I can think of is Tasty Burger by the Garden. Nothing has filled the void that UBurger left. I know Pauli’s and Cobblestone has burgers, but I don’t mean places like that, as I feel they have a different environment. And I’m sure SS would put a local flair to their menu if it’s really a big North End concern, like they did in Newbury Street (it doesn’t seem pandery). Idk, maybe a margherita pizza inspired burger or a Lavazza shake or a cannoli concrete for example. Just thinking about lunch for all the people that work nearby, would be a nice option. And maybe having one small familiar chain (SS) would be a good way to bring in tourists that are walking by the greenway (and more likely to be able to make the $30k rent? Whereas BBC feels more local even if just because “Boston” is on the signage.) and they will venture into Hanover or Salem after. I mean, like someone said earlier, how Italian was the nail salon or the two 7-11s? And who could afford that rent aside from a bank? I’d rather have a nice casual burger environment, even if it isn’t authentically Italian. And why not give someone that has a fighting chance that I think SS would have? (I guess Starbucks would have a fighting chance, but I agreed with not having one there simply because there are a plethora of other coffee places in the area and there are sooo many Starbucks nearby.) The North End didn’t like PinkBerry and it showed. Let the wallets speak for themselves.

  10. People came from EVERYWHERE to purchase Varese shoes at their American location on Hanover Street.

          1. Remember, the beloved shoe store on Hanover was forced out by a greedy landlord and replaced by a Pinkberry! Now there’s a new landlord, and yet another Italian restaurant moving in! Progress???

  11. I agree with Phil B For a visitors center and war Memorial plus showing pictures of our neigh hood the way it they have in the West End and let the city and state pay for it Put Pace back and Shoe Store where Pinkberry was plus we need a hardware store on Salem St.

  12. I think this is tough situation. Both Nick Verano and Frank D tried businesses there and both moved out. Admittedly I don’t know the exact reason other than they are not there. My concern is they are two of the most successful business owners in the neighborhood and if they couldn’t make it in that location I’m not sure who can especially with the character of the north end that everyone is asking for. Personally I would rather see a viable tenant that would create stability and anchor the entrance. I understand some of the sensitivity to the type of tenant and as apart time resident I enjoy the character of the north end and everything it represents but don’t think Starbucks would impact that character as much as if it were in the bowels of the neighborhood. I just don’t know how a privately held business can make $ with $30k month rent.

  13. We already have far too many restaurants for the size of the neighborhood.
    We do not need another restaurant, the Rats would love it, but I don’t think the
    residents would.

  14. My idea is of putting an Apple computer store in that area. It would certainly be an asset and accommodating for all. There are so many new residents as well as professionals from the nearby offices and new developmentsthat surely would take advantage of this convenience.
    They would not interfere with our local businesses and certainly can afford the rent.

  15. I think the Apple store idea is great. It would actually draw more people to the local businesses in town.

  16. Bring back J. Pace. Now we have to go to the Seaport. What is going into P33t’s? Between the two sites we could have a museum, a hardware store, and one or two other businesses. Maybe Maria’s would like to expand or move closer to Hanover Street.

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