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Downtown Crossing Roche Bros. seeks OK for outdoor cafe

The Boston Public Improvement Commission will hold a hearing April 16 on the supermarket chain's request to allow outdoor seating outside its new store in the old Filene's building on Summer Street in Downtown Crossing.

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in City Hall Room 801.

H/t FortPointer.

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But only if they serve beer.

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Still cannot wait for this to open. I've never been so excited about a supermarket opening since Market Basket rebuilt the Chelsea store.

Yay Roche Bros!!!!!

(was told by Roche Bros delivery person that the DTX store should open mid month)

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Cybah I share your enthusiasm and when I called the main office a month ago I got the same April 15th date.

But I walk by each morning and there are big pieces of HVAC infrastructure sitting on the floor, nothing even approaching merchandise. I am no contractor but it does not look to me like it's two weeks away from opening. I hope I am wrong.

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but I imagine Roche Bro's supply chain being fairly small. And if Market Basket can fully stock a store in a few days after being depleted (like their stores were last summer), I can imagine it won't take Roche long either.

I think what may be the hold up are the lovely city and health dept inspections now..

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"I've never been so excited about a supermarket opening since Market Basket rebuilt the Chelsea store."

I have long said that the downtown area needed a good supermarket, but I fear that the prices will be prohibitive. The wealthy people that will populate the Millennium Tower and surrounding luxury condos will be able to afford it, but I'm not so sure about the rest of us. A few months ago, I guess as a trial run, Roche Brothers set up a temporary produce stand in the general area of where the old Lamberts run one was, outside the former Filene's. The prices were so absurdly high I walked away, not knowing if I should laugh or cry. I'm sure location has everything to do with it. Think of the prices in that Shaws in the Pru.

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I look forward to not buying general grocery items ever again at one of the many CVS's in DTX. I mean I'm not looking to load up a cart, just get some stuff I normally carry from home (or get at CVS) for work, or pick up one or two things I need for dinner.

I'm happy to pay more for convenience and a better selection that CVS. Plus it's Roche Bros so its locally owned, unlike Shaw's and Stop & Shop, so I'm happy to support that too.

And yes I hear you about Shaw's Pru. I shopped there for many years.. I tried not too as much as possible, but again it's there for convenience and Shaw's knows that so some stuff is generally more expensive. But like any Shaw's, you have to shop the sales to get decent prices.

But we'll see about Roche Bros. I may be set in my Market Basket price-ways to even think about buying anything there. I admit, I'm not near a Roche so I can't even say I've ever been in one, but from what posters here say (mostly adamg), it's apparently a nice store, but pricy.

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No, I'm not buying groceries for my family downtown.

I'm buying things that are cheap to combine with leftovers to make a healthy lunch - cheap relative to dining out.

I am totally looking forward to doing so without having to ride 2.5 miles to Trader Joes or walk 3 miles round trip to Foodies or grabbing a 1-bag hubway just to get damn cherry tomatoes and some greens.

This isn't an alternative to a full grocery run - it is an alternative to eating out.

p.s. to Cybah: it is totally worth it to have a Spanish-speaking sidekick when attacking Chelsea Market basket - I bring my son and it makes a huge difference that he can speak with the staff to find things!

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p.s. to Cybah: it is totally worth it to have a Spanish-speaking sidekick when attacking Chelsea Market basket - I bring my son and it makes a huge difference that he can speak with the staff to find things!

I'm there at least once a week.. if I can't find what I am looking for, I have a serious problem.

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I have long said that the downtown area needed a good supermarket, but I fear that the prices will be prohibitive.

"Needed" why? So that downtown workers can lug home a dozen bags of groceries on the T or commuter rail? Downtown workers live elsewhere, for the most part, and elsewhere is where they buy their groceries (and would even if the "downtown supermarket" prices were cheaper). As for prices, sure, they'll be high. The price of the real estate guarantees it. It's why Kane's Donuts announced that donuts in their Financial District location would cost twice what they do in Saugus. It's why downtown bars charge $15 for a cocktail. You'll pay more no matter who goes in there -- if it's Stop and Shop, the prices will still be higher, although as a large chain they can afford to take a bit of a hit on some items. But why would any supermarket chain open a store and then operate at a loss? They wouldn't. So they need to make the money to pay the rent.

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I grew up lower middle class in a town with a Roche Bros, and later on it was the closest store when I was broke and in my 20's. While it's definitely not cheap like Market Basket, you can actually make out pretty well on a small budget. Most of the general grocery prices are average. They also have really great specials on meats and produce, which are a much better quality than just about every other grocery chain around. You just have to catch them at the right time and stock up. Their delivery service is also stellar.

I have a feeling this new location is going to cater to the professional lunch crowd and the new condos downtown, so price won't be an issue.

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That'll be fantastic for DTX, but I'm not sure anyone is going to be able to eat out there without getting hassled.

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Mark my words HParker, I think DTX is on the threshold of a major transformation. I get that it has had a long history of sketchiness but I think that's changing before our eyes with the Millennium tower being realized.

One thing I don't get ... is why major retailers like Macy's allow the homeless to sleep on their property. The BPD will move them along if the space is posted with "no trespassing" signs (which it is) and the property owner requests it.

I am not without sympathy for the homeless but the impact on the neighborhood far outweighs the benefit to them.

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I'll be nice and reserve my comments but I agree...

I am not without sympathy for the homeless but the impact on the neighborhood far outweighs the benefit to them.

I really question many of the same people I see month after month, year after year..........

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I 100% agree. With Roches we're so close to getting there. The next goal will be to convince city hall that those pushcarts need to get off the street and open it up for retail. I don't know why/what they provided to be there, but I can't wait for them to go (at least the ones selling the knockoffs and cheap t-shirts).

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The pushcarts are a holdover from the late 70s when the ill conceived idea to transform Washington Street into "Downtown Crossing" took place. The idea to shut the area to traffic, make the place a pedestrian mall and "promote lingering" was doomed from the very start. It didn't help matters that in the 80s all of the once thriving "downtown" areas of major cities began their long decline into oblivion. Now the pushcarts seem to be considered part of the "culture" of the area and people are loathe to get rid of them even though, as far as I can see, they are selling nothing worthwhile. Who is buying that stuff? Tourists I suppose. The food carts selling those rancid smelling nuts should go too.

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But, DTX was on the "verge" when the Ritz tower got built, what? 10-12 years ago? And...nothing. Yes, gradually over the aughts the retail situation in the area when down the tubes, and the Filene's Hole didn't help anything. But, even before all that happened, there was a definite change for the worse when you crossed passed Winter/Summer Streets on Washington. South of that intersection there was the lingering feel of the old Combat District was still there.

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Yup, could be some wishful thinking on my part. We'll see.

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The Ritz tower (and all of the DNC cameras) greatly revitalized Lower Washington St, not DTX. It has slowly crept into DTX, which is hugely improved already from when I grew up. The millennial tower should anchor the area just like the Ritz on Lower Washington.

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Off topic but kinda on point.

Saturday night I went to Subway in Chelsealand on B'way. Broadway in Chelsea when it's warm attracts such a wide variety of characters.

Anyways so there this girl... who I might add was blocking the door to get into Subway. She was muttering something to herself while smoking a cig. I was like "excuse me" "excuse me" to get her away from the door so I could go in.

So I get inside, and there's a gaggle of people in there. So I'm ordering my sandwich, and that same lady makes a beeline toward me.. pushing everyone out of the way. And she mumbles something about money and bus fare and not having enough.. honestly, I was annoyed so I wasn't paying attention. I promptly told her "no", so she mumbled again, and once again I said "no". And she starts in again..

I look up and away from the counter at her.... Holy Drug Nose. She had more caked up crap along her nose (sorry folks still too early for runny nose season), and her incoherent speech made it just worse. She was obviously on something (gonna guess its heroin like all of Chelsea's finest). So I said... loudly... "I've said no twice, please go away". She proceeds to yell profanities at me (of course because she was all drugged out and mumbling, I couldn't hear what she was saying. She promptly left in a huff once she realized wasn't going to get any money out of me...

The kicker, out of the 12 or so people in Subway, she makes a bee line and harasses ME and no one else. I must have "Bank of America ATM" written on my forehead.

So my point is.. doors do not stop people. They'll come up regardless. Same with any indoor business in DTX, I've been accosted by homeless people at Wendy's before.

On a different note, I hope Roche Bros plans on having security guards, I can't imagine what the shrink is going to be like.

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On a different note, I hope Roche Bros plans on having security guards, I can't imagine what the shrink is going to be like.

The CVS at Washington and Boylston/Essex is in a similarly challenging spot (that's my neighborhood we're talking about!) has some visible security and seems to do a brisk business.

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The one at 55 Summer does a hellva business too. Always lines at lunch hour. No guard, but they do have an employee who hovers near the front door for the self check outs.

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Yes, homeless people and drug addicts hang out in fast food restaurants. You get what you pay for.

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I don't care whether its fast food or Pret or the Ritz Carlton.. I shouldn't be harassed INDOORS. regardless of how much I pay for my food.

But thanks for expressing your un-needed opinion about where I should eat and how "i get what I pay for". Excuse me for taking a break of the six day a week cooking thing I do every night. *eye roll*

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But, living and or working in downtown crossing, you will have homeless around you.

I have had many homeless come up to me, and yes, it can be irksome, but usually you say "no" and they go away. Since we, as a society, seem to place the homeless with their myriad of problems way down on the pole, we as a collective, will run into more and more and more who are suffering drug addition and/or mental illness across the city.

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in that area now. Au Bon Pain had tables there for years before thatThe BID even provides live music there. This isn't much of a change for that location.

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My wife and I had this discussion a few months back. Whereas Rochies is primarily a suburban store (with a mostly honest soccer-mom-type clientele), will they be ready for the challenges of an urban environment like DTX?

They are not stupid, so I bet they will have security in place, but I'm gonna predict that it will take them a bit to work out the kinks.

(LOVE the idea of the cafe....hope it is approved and succeeds.)

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Clientele may not be too different, hundreds (thousands?) of condos in the area containing empty nesters from the 'burbs (like me!) and young professionals. I suspect they are going to do quite well.

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Going to be quite the lunch rush, too, as well as people grabbing stuff on their way home.

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I think they will be fine, they did start in Roslindale which is in the City :)

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Isn't that about as "in the city" as Belmont? :D

However, since their beginning, they've always focused on the suburbs, so urban is new territory for them. I've frequented their locations in Millis, Westwood, and Bridgewater, and I've never really had a bad experience, so I have hopes for the DTX location. That said, hopefully they have people in place at DTX that understand that unlike at their Millis location, ethnic food doesn't consist of mozzarella sticks and mushroom bites.

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I've been hoping that someone such as Roche Bros would add some type of outdoor cafe or eatery. Right now Summer Street seems like one vast wasteland.
I do however share Hyde Parker's concern about harassment given the amount of homeless there. On solution would be to install some sort of barrier around the seating area.

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That area could really use an outdoor cafe. It would be a good opportunity for Dunkin' Donuts to partner and provide a Dunkies for that drastically underserved 100 feet in front of that building. It would be a boon for those who don't want to grab some Dunkies 200 feet away by Macy's and walk 50 feet to one of the tables set up in Summer Street Plaza.

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