Julio Salado reports the Beacon Street Bruegger's has baked its last bagel, another of the victim's of the impending redevelopment of the block that includes the Citgo sign and the bookstore.
No vestiges of independent business or anything of interest will remain - Kenmore is now as bland as a Dayton mall foodcourt so as to not offend the delicate sensibilities of BU parents in town for graduation.
RIP Supersocks and the Rat, NESOP and the old IQR.
...Discount Records, New England Music City, Pizza Pad, Uncle Nemo's , Charlie's, the Aku Aku, Aegean Fare and the liquor store run by those two eccentric guys. This is all back when there actually was a Kenmore Square.
I remember most of those places. How many do you think would have lasted if it wasn't for BU? Record stores aren't exactly thriving. In Your Ear is still around, amazingly.
Lord knows I've tried to forget Pizza Pad. The only restaurant I've ever known that was improved when it was replaced by a McDonald's.
Nobody in my living group would go there, and frosh/transfers were warned off it. Nemos or nothing!
Charlies for breakfast was the best.
Deli Haus ... took my parents there when they came in very late from a flight from the West Coast. I was kind of cringing because it isn't west coast nice, but it was all that was open. They thought that the rude waitstaff was dinner theater! Loved it!
I also miss Mississippi's (restrooms labeled "humans" and "people") with sandwiches big enough for two meals.
Pizza Pad? Not trying to hear that.
Deli Haus? Now you're talking!
Sorry, I'm a confirmed Luddite. Couldn't create and post a meme to save my life.
But you get the idea, right?
I'm thinking that this is a candidate for
"If you can't handle me at my [Pizza Pad]
You don't deserve me at my [Deli Haus]."
I'll show myself out.
One of my most cherished memories of Kenmore Square was that time during the height of Hurricane Gloria when I went out with some housemates to explore.
One block away was a trek in the lashing winds, but we held onto each other and pushed on.
There was a tank in the middle of the square. Right at the point where Beacon comes in and Comm Ave heads out. An honest to god National Guard tank.
And no cars or traffic.
Trees were down on the side streets.
All the crap litter that was never cleaned from the square because this was Flynn's era was flying around and around.
And, beyond it all, that little liquor store tucked beneath the CVS was lit up, shining like a beacon to undergraduates run dry. IT WAS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! The two congenial (but not effusive) old guys, ringing up the beer buys right and left. Just like it was any normal day.
I don't know if I ever knew what that place was called - University Package?Kenmore Liquors? Something generic like that.
Bruegger's was hardly an "independent business"
Seriously. What's better that's
1)In Boston, not the burbs
2)Open in the mornings (like, when people are going to work -- if I could shop for bagels after 9 am, I wouldn't be shopping for bagels, if you follow me)
Now let's get in a fight about JP being part of Boston, not the burbs.
This Jew likes Exodus and Brueggers. Exodus is expensive though. I don't begrudge them, because it's a small independent business, but they aren't always within my budget. I do like that they have good cream cheese though. The stuff at Brueggers is just gross. It's like plasticky and weirdly sweet. The regular stuff tastes like fat-free cream cheese.
Because Bagelsaurus, although they're pricey. Davis Square Donuts & Bagels are good. Not exceptional, but they've certainly had plenty of my business. Brookline is obviously Kupel's. Even Katz in Chelsea deserves mention.
In Boston? Never had Exodus, yet, but others here seem to think they're good. I'm a fan of Better Bagel, which opened a brick & mortar, to the best of my knowledge, in the Seaport, but I also used to get them at 7 Ate 9 bakery in Somerville. They might deliver elsewhere. R.I.P. Bagel Rising.
is great, and is open 6am - 5pm daily in the Seaport near Courthouse Station.
And I loved Bagel Rising in Allston when I used to work out in that area.
BU bought that block in the 90s, maybe earlier. They've since re-sold it. Everything you see happening now is the result of the new owners. Cornwalls (locally owned, single location) might be the only business to make it through the renovation.
Nostalgia is golden. I was in the area before it got redeveloped. Supersocks was fun but it would have closed on it's own a long time ago, irrespective of BU just like most of those other stores. Kenmore was a dump.
In 50 years people when it gets sold and redeveloped again people are going to be nostalgic for how it was in 2020 and complain about the new owners. The cycle never ends.
...but Silber was instrumental in making sure the Hotel Commonwealth was a charmless dull piece of architecture and BU certainly doesn't care about the commercial vibrancy of this large public space.
Name me five large buildings constructed in Boston in the past 20 years which are charming and have personality. Silber was doing exactly what what everyone else has done and continues to do*.
The hotel has an independent wine store and independent restaurants. The hotel itself is not a name brand. The only thing which is a chain is the Starbucks.
*Actually, the hotel looked far worse before the city demanded they change it. As a result all new construction in the city needs to build a little model nearby of the exterior.
Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar are excellent. The Hawthorne is one of the best cocktails bars in Boston. I certainly spend more time in those spots than any other hotel restaurants around.
It is sad however they are not located in a cooler building.
As a result all new construction in the city needs to build a little model nearby of the exterior.
I always thought the little exterior mockups were demos to train the subcontractors.
Boston has almost no 'world class architecture' and instead of taking advantage of the fact that BU could steer development in a more interesting direction than a commercial developer, Silber fought to keep Kenmore bland with that hotel.
It is very on brand for Boston to accept crap architecture because that's what everyone is building!
Actually with the exception of the pure International Style [circa mid 50's] when there was almost nothing being built in Boston*1 -- the city has more than its share of the totally overused term Worldclass Architecture
In the late 19th Century the American Institute of Architects surveyed their members for the Top Ten Buildings up to that date. They repeated the survey on the tern of the Millenium. Only bwo buildings made both lists -- both with Boston connections: the US Capitol by Boston's Charles Bulfinch (born August 8, 1763, Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony [U.S.]—died April 4, 1844, Boston, Massachusetts) and Trinity Church by Henry Hobson Richardson -- Bostonian by choice (born September 29, 1838, Priestley Plantation, Louisiana, U.S.—died April 27, 1886, Brookline)
Anyway, McKim's Boston Public Library should still be on the Worldclass List as well as the nearly a century later Henry Cobb's 200 Clarendon [nee John Hancock Tower].and the earlier Hancock with the Red Sox weather light
Many people would also include in a Top xxyy List: Faneuil Hall [Bullfinch], the original Quincy Market [Alexander Parris], and improvements, the original [Ami B. Young] and improved with a impressive tower Custom House [Peabody & Stearns], Old City Hall [Gridley J. F. Bryant, Arthur D. Gilman]
Samuel H. Stearns' New Old South Church, Old North [Christ's Church], South Station [both the Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge original and the remake of today]., Fenway Park, Harvard Stadium,
A few more from various periods that should be considered as important works: The Cunard Building, State Street Block @ McKinley Square [GF Bryant], The Flour Exchange, Chadwick Lead Works, the USM Building (George W. Fuller and Parker, Thomas & Rice) , the original Federal Reserve Bank [now a hotel after some alterations], the original New England Telephone and Telegraph Building on Franklin Street, Hugh Stubbins New Federal Reserve Bank, Commonwealth Pier, Park Street Church, Fenway Studios [Parker, Thomas & Rice], Colonial Theatre (Clarence Blackall), Paramount Theatre, MFA [original and Foster & Partners remake] Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Symphony Hall, Original and subsequent additions to Christian Science Church complex, the remnant building of the original MIT complex [originally the New England Society of Natural History now Restoration Hardware today] on Boylston St designed by William Gibbons Preston, the nearby original Ritz Carlton Hotel (Strickland, Blodget & Law Architects,) and then the recent Millennium Tower (Blake Middleton of Handel Architects) grafted on to 1911
Architect Daniel H. Burnham's masterpiece the former Filene's and the currently under construction One Dalton by Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Cambridge Seven Associates
Across the river the Frank Gerry Stata Center at MIT is on the list along Harvard's Chapel and Memorial Hall, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts [Le Corbusier's only building in the US]. and the "Infinite Corridor" MIT main building of today [1916 William Welles Bosworth.], MIT's Charles Hayden Library
Way out in the burbs there is the original mein Zuhause das Bauhaus of Bauhaus founding architect Walter Gropius
and even and more and more could be added -- some of the architects of the above have been left to the reader -- just do some homework before pontificating
1) even the pure International style exists in the Boston Area although you need to go to Harvard and MIT in Cambridge to find it -- e.g. Eero Saarinen's Kresge Auditorium and MIT Chapel,, Baker House (Alvar Aalto)
Boston tore down the Travelers Building on High Street where 125 High is today
what am I missing that's been built in the last 30 years though?
This is exactly the problem - look what MIT and Harvard did with their buildings! Even more recent, imagine if something as cool and interesting as the new(ish) Wentworth tower was build in Kenmore which is a core public space in the city - that would have been awesome. But no, Silber wanted a Fort Worth mall facsimile of a Backbay brownstone themes.
Silber was a world-class judge of architecture and the arbiter of all that was worthy. He said so over and over.
until he turned ripe, then it was time to go.
When I went back and forth to Boston Latin Academy in the 1980s, the entire block to the station was worn down, but had good stores.
They began tearing down the buildings on Kenmore St in 1999-2000, and that's when Kenmore began to change. It might as well be called Silber Square or BU Landing because it's now keyed to BU students and their parents, and the suburbanite on their way to a Sox game.
Have a great song about Kenmore changing called, "I Want my City Back."
I always considered the raising of the drinking age as being the cause of the end of Kenmore Square. And, something called See Dees.
Though I completely agree that this development represents the final nail in the coffin of the old Kenmore, the revised plans are significantly better than what is featured in the post's image.
place may have been a chain, but unlike others of the same franchise in nearby states, that one on Beacon served full-sized bagels. because of that, i will be sad.
Storyville, too, but I also dearly love Eastern Standard and Island Creek and The Hawthorne. Kaju is pretty great, too, and India Quality is still going strong in its relocated home down the block. (Breugger's: feh.)
I sometimes wish I were 25 again, but I've come to terms with Kenmore's inevitable gentrification. At least it's not the damnable Seaport, or as I like to call it, Little Houston. What a shameful waste of an opportunity.
RIP, Mr. Butch.
...is STILL quality. I got takeout from there last week for the first time in over a decade, and it was delicious. Definitely a bright spot as Indian food becomes harder to find in Boston.
Oh, you don't have 6 Indian restaurants within a mile of where you live?!
Allston is gentrifying, but we're still getting diverse restaurants. Lucky us! Sucks to the rest of you.
And Allston is "diversifying" in the direction of having a Korean restaurant, cafe or boba tea house every five feet. Ain't what it used to be.
but in general the South Asian restaurant scene in Greater Boston has come a long way from 25 years ago. It used to be nothin' but Northern, mainly Punjabi with a few sprinklings of other cuisines (a Goan vindaloo here, a Mughal korma there -- that's the formula at India Quality).
Nowadays, we have regional coverage from all over the sub-continent -- much broader Southern options, Mumbai snacks and other street foods, better vegetarian restaurants, Indian-Chinese, Pakistani, Bengali, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan.
My ex-pat friends are less enthusiastic about restaurant dining than I, but most of them have dedicated mothers or spouses cooking for them at home. From my perspective, the scene has gotten much, much stronger and more diverse, largely because there's a larger ex-pat population to support it. It turns out that immigration is good for your palate, too.
Found this last night while looking for pictures of old record stores:
And here's one for the real old-timers:
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