"Not in our neighborhood!" That's what residents of the North End in Boston are saying, and more specifically business owners there, to a proposal for adding a Starbucks to the neighborhood. The proposal is to add a Starbucks to the historic district of the North End on Hanover Street. There are no specific anti-chain zoning regulations there but any chains in the past who have slide by have faced serious scrutiny and fierce opposition. There is already one coffee chain in the North End, which is Peet's Coffee and that is on the corner of Salem Street. Otherwise it's all authentic italian cafes, bakeries, and restaurants and that's how many residents would like to keep it! Unafraid to voice their opinions, residents and business owners just gathered last night for the first of 3 neighborhood meetings at the Nazzaro Community Center on N. Hennet Street. It got fiery to say the least...
Yeah, what's next a Olive Garden! Proposterous! I don't know about it being "an afront to italian heritage" but I agree that I don't think there should be a Starbucks rolling onto Hanover Street in the North End. I go there for the italian cafes and bakeries. If I wanted to go to Starbucks I can go anywhere to one but I can't go to Modern Pastry anywhere. It's a quaint, unique, culturual neighborhood that I think should be preserved. That's just me. I'm a part italian american and my fiance's family is 100% italian american and they actually owned an italian bakery for many, many years (not in the North End), and I have this respect and love for local, family businesses so maybe I'm bias here but I like the old time neighborhood, the atmosphere that feels homey, not commericialized when it comes to restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes. I LOVE local coffee shops so I'm all about preserving that. However I do love Starbucks too and go every week but I can tell you that I would not go to a Starbucks in the North End. If I'm going there, it's for the family made local italian goods, not for something I can get anywhere.
We shall see what ends up happening here in the feud over Starbucks. The next two neighborhood meetings are scheduled for July 9th and July 12th at 7pm.