North End residents and businesses were pleased to hear that Mayor Martin Walsh made it clear that he didn’t think opening a Starbucks in the community was appropriate based on heavy opposition by the neighborhood and he recommended that Charter Realty withdraw their proposal which they eventually did.
“After hearing concerns from residents sustaining the culture in the historic nature of the North End, I encourage the applicant to withdraw their proposal to locate a Starbucks at the entrance to the North End based on community opposition,” the Mayor noted.
Opposition was voiced at last week’s City of Boston abutters meeting by over 200 people that attended the public meeting. Residents were determined to stop Starbucks from pouring its first cup of coffee in the North End, come hell or high water.
They claimed that a Starbucks was in no way, shape or form conducive to the historic theme and culture of the community called “Little Italy”, and they would do anything possible to stop the giant firm from operating in the community.
Two North End residents and business owners Damien DiPaola and Jorge Mendoza generally spearheaded the neighborhood endeavor against placing Starbucks at the Gateway to the North End at 198 Hanover Street.
They labeled the proposal as “A slap in the face, outrageous and not good for the community.”
Senator Joe Boncore, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Councilor Lydia Edwards and Janet Wu attended the public meeting that lasted just over three hours but at the time presented no official opinion.
Charter Realty met with two local community groups, NEWRA and NEWNC a few months ago where both groups stated that they disliked the design of the structure and asked the Realty to return with revised plans. They did not return to either of these monthly meetings.