Hey, there! Log in / Register

A neighborhood under siege: North End fights Starbucks

Last Little Italy

Via NorthEndWaterfront.com comes Rocco Capano's interviews with a number of North End cafe and restaurant owners about their opposition to a proposed Starbucks on Cross Street at Hanover, at the entrance to the neighborhood.

"We don't need a company such as them showing the people what it's not like to be Italian," says one of the folks at the Modern bakery.

Petition. NorthEndWaterfront.com has more on the proposal.

South Boston residents lost a similar battle against a Starbucks in City Point.

Neighborhoods: 
Ad:

Comments

They allowed Pete's. The damage is done.

up
Voting closed 5

On commercial st.

up
Voting closed 12

I wouldn't really call Thinking Cup, or Boston Common Coffee before that, particularly Italian.

up
Voting closed 18

 

up
Voting closed 6

At least one of the owners of Boston Common Coffee is Italian.

up
Voting closed 24

Is that at the end of Faneuil Hall? That counts as North End to you?

up
Voting closed 3

And yes, it counts as the NORTH END to anyone who knows this city.

up
Voting closed 5

where on Salem? oh you mean Petes. There is one on Atlantic Ave.

up
Voting closed 23

Starbuck’s will never be allowed in East Boston, big corporate chains ruin long running independent established businesses.
Walgreens in East Boston has ruined mom and pop pharmacies that had a customer base in E Boston. Landlords that lease to these corporate chains could give 2 fucks about the community..’as long as their receiving loads of rent money each month.

up
Voting closed 34

next to Market Basket, and also on the Lynnway in Lynn, so it's probably only a matter of time before they knock on the doors of East Boston and Everett.

up
Voting closed 5

1 Mystic View Road, Everett, MA 02149. There's also one at 430 William F McClellan Hwy in Eastie.

They're there, just not as prominent of a presence as elsewhere.

up
Voting closed 6

so it's easily overlooked (including by me)

up
Voting closed 29

Hard to imagine many people walking over there from Orient Heights or Eagle Hill.

up
Voting closed 17

That Starbucks on McLennan highway in Eastie is not the luxury kind that you see with the comfortable leather recliners, that Starbucks is primarily for North shore commuters on their way to the tunnel.

up
Voting closed 18

Small independent coffee shop owners should have some type of relief, Starbucks is hurting the small business owner tremendously in lower income Boston communities that are now being gentrified.

up
Voting closed 9

pete's and starbucks were both independent small coffee at one time. It is a high traffic highly visible spot. The lease must be expensive. It may make more sense to request changes in signage than to pick winners and losers from the small business community. Small business owners shouldn't be subsidized by taxpayers.

up
Voting closed 21

Give me a break. Half the restaurants in the North End get their terrible food from Sysco. And if they want the North End to be like an Italian city then why aren't they fighting to ban cars from the neighborhood? Italian cities have pedestrian streets, plazas, parks etc. The North End is a pedestrian nightmare because of all the cars.

up
Voting closed 75

Having a Starbucks in the North End is like having Spaghetti with ketchup as a sauce. It’s insulting to the Italian culture.

up
Voting closed 6

most of the food you can order on Hanover Street.

up
Voting closed 10

of "The Sopranos" where Paulie tried to shake down the local Starbucks (or the fictional representation of one) and was promptly rebuffed by the manager who said corporate runs the show nowadays and you can beat me up all day long but they'll just replace me.

So I say to those pissed about this: do like Paulie did, complain impotently about the "rape o da culcha" and stick a coffee grinder in your jacket on the way out.

up
Voting closed 4

up
Voting closed 4

I saw a driver try to drive through people in a crosswalk, and then get agitated when the group piled back into the road and began to beat on the car.

Although the North End will be like Venice soon enough.

up
Voting closed 6

In Naples, the "margin of safety" between a vehicle and a pedestrian is measured in inches and every gap in traffic is filled by "motos". Neapolitans would consider North End traffic slow and boring.

Only museum cities like Florence and Venice are off-limits to cars.

up
Voting closed 24

Or maybe, just maybe, you don't know which restaurants to patronize in the north end?

up
Voting closed 23

I'm one who is well known for my opposition to many of the changes foisted on this city to satisfy the palates of hipsters and anyone foolish enough to accept anything known as "artisan", but this is a bit much.

They can talk all of the neighborhood pride they want, but some of these in opposition to the Starbucks are just as guilty of exploiting the North End in the way that they charge idiots stupid enough to think that 3 grand a month is a great price to pay for a one bedroom on Prince Street to a guy who moved out of the North End years ago and lives in Wilmington and hasn't done shit to the place in terms of renovating it.

Also, funny how the owners of cafes in the North End actually charge more than Starbucks for the same coffees and at the very least you know what you're paying at Sbux in advance, when a casual glance at the menu of Caffe Vittorio online and you don't have any idea that you may end up paying 6 bucks for a cannoli, but you're in Boston's historic North End!! Mangia!!

up
Voting closed 3

Are full of shite. Cafe Vittorio is a family owned and operated cafe that does nothing but good for the NE.

up
Voting closed 6

Why aren't the prices for their delicious family owned offerings on their website?

up
Voting closed 6

It keeps the grumpy old men away. They can't have you in their establishment yelling at clouds and shit.

up
Voting closed 6

But that whole storefront looks so out of place from the rest of the neighborhood. Plus the starbucks isn't gonna have any trouble making money being right at the entrance of one of the most popular streets in Boston. I'm sure they'll feed off all ignorant tourists who couldn't tell the difference between an Olive garden and Fiore's.

up
Voting closed 7

Not in modern Italy.

up
Voting closed 20

Just like it is not in Fanieul Hall.

up
Voting closed 19

A museum.

up
Voting closed 30

I don't mind it when a city or town wants to be unique. There are plenty of others places that want a Starbucks. There's no lack of them.

I've always thought it too bad when Arlington stopped being a dry town. It's not like it wasn't surrounded by liquor stores for those who wanted that. Once you make the change, there's no going back. Like toothpaste. Impossible to get back in the tube.

up
Voting closed 6

It wasn't ever a dry town.

There were several bars there - full liquor license bars known by such names as The Irish American Club and "The DAV". Some people didn't even realize that they weren't just bars, but fraternal organizations when they would ask pedestrians for directions.

Such delusional nostalgia.

up
Voting closed 9

The guy is single handledly creating the Universal Studios version of the North End.

Complete with over the top "Coming Soon" billboards announcing his next movie franchise venture.

up
Voting closed 8

You have a problem with a man who perpetuates his own stereotypes with quite possibly one of the worst dining experiences of my life outside of the Sbarro's at the Vince Lombardi Memorial Rest Stop on the Jersey Turnpike?

At least the Sbarro's didn't have video screens glamorizing Italian sociopaths all in my face while I was eating their rubbery pasta, nor did I have to be accosted by a former used car salesman walking around the restaurant who likes to stand in front of a mirror practicing how to talk like Paulie Walnuts and waddles like Vito Spatafore like my paisan Nicky boy.

up
Voting closed 6

Here is an intersting read.

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2015/02/24/nick-varano/

My favorite quote;

"Nicky’s top story tonight is that he won a million on blackjack in Vegas. Over the next few weeks, that figure will morph, shedding zeros."

Pretty much sums up the guy.

up
Voting closed 33

"Ebullient cleavage"? What won't they think of next.

up
Voting closed 6

Really showed off the sad wannabe that Varano is that he has to rely on his proximity to celebrities that wouldn't piss on him to put him out if he was on fire on Hanover Street to prove his worth as a human being.

up
Voting closed 18

The only thing that would make that video better is if it featured Nick Varano discussing how classy and important he is. Nothing harkens back to “the old country” quite like STRIP by Strega.

up
Voting closed 6

I'm an American Italian with roots in the North End. My great Uncles have street signs dedicated to their service in WWII on both ends of Margaret st. (the street my grandparents grew up on). The neighborhood is definitely very different from when I was a little girl. I'm not necessarily against a Starbucks, but I do think placement is everything.

up
Voting closed 6

This is the same excuse they used in Southie and everytime I drive pass that location the place is packed.

up
Voting closed 31

The North End was killed by short term rentals. Just like many other Tourist magnet locations.

It sounds like some dumb people who are anti Sbux are the same who think that Zara and Paul boutiques on small streets in (Suburban) Paris are Quaint and Cosmopolitan.

up
Voting closed 6

Is Starbucks claiming to be an Italian--style coffee shop?

up
Voting closed 17

NIMBYism is the number one thing preventing this city from moving forward.

up
Voting closed 12

There's already a Dunkin Donuts in the North End as well. Give me a break.

up
Voting closed 19

None are listed when I search on DD's store locator. (I don't consider North Station, Haymarket, Bulfinch Triangle, or anything else on the west side of the Greenway/I-93 to be part of the North End.)

up
Voting closed 4

I lived very close to the North End for most of my life but not anymore. Have been going to North End since I was 11 years old and had friends in one of the schools. It would be a sacrilege to have a Starbucks in such an historic area filled with genuine Italian cafes. Why would anyone chose a Starbucks over them? I never would. Starbucks is as common as dirt yet these cafes are icons. Years ago I did a photo shoot of Caffe Vittoria and to this day I get coments when people see them.

Leave the North End alone and let it remain with its true history.

up
Voting closed 5