1.4 min readBy Published On: August 25th, 2016Categories: News23 Comments on Starbucks at L and Broadway approved

After a long drawn out battle, the City of Boston Licensing Board has voted on Thursday to approve the common victualler license for Starbucks at L and Broadway.  

In case you live under a rock, here’s the back history on this local saga.

The first Starbucks battle was back in the spring and ended with the Boston licensing board denying Starbucks a common victualler license.  But Starbucks did not go away quietly and was granted another hearing for the CV license which took place on Wednesday, August 17th.  On Thursday, August 18th, the board voted to defer its decision. 

The space at 749 East Broadway was already been approved for zoning for a restaurant but needed this CV license to operate.  According the city’s website“Every food service establishment in the City of Boston with capabilities for cooking, preparing and serving food is required to have a Common Victualler License.”  

On Monday, August 15th, a community meeting was held and of the 100 plus crowd in attendance a majority seemed to be in favor of Starbucks opening most stating it would be a welcomed addition to the neighborhood.  Those in opposition voiced concerns that the coffee chain may affect other mom and pop coffee shops in the neighborhood. Other reasons for opposition ranged from traffic, trash, double parking and public safety.  The licensing board took into consideration both neighborhood support and opposition.  Evidently support outweighed opposition.

So there you have it.  Whether you’ll be first in line for a Grande Carmel Macchiato or you think of Starbucks as the end of days, the saga is officially over.  Welcome to  neighborhood, Starbucks!


  1. Roy August 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Great news Southie peeps. Roy is so excited! WELCOME to the neighborhood!!!!

  2. Andy August 25, 2016 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    L and Broadway does not need its 3rd coffee shop, however there is a need for businesses that are open later in the evening that aren’t bars/sit-down restaurants. Even so, I was surprised to see long-time residents passionately supporting Starbucks with online petitions.

    I wish the city had done more to promote and protect local business, It’s hard to imagine Boston Bagel Company with its 2 total locations surviving Starbucks’ 23,769th location opening 30 feet away.

    • Bob August 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      It’s not the City’s job to protect one business over another.

      • Frank Donaghue August 26, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

        So I guess the combat zone was shut down because of lack of interest.

      • John August 26, 2016 at 10:48 pm - Reply

        Exactly!! If a business is providing a unique service, then it will survive

      • K August 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

        The city favors businesses all the time. How about tax breaks given to Liberty Mutual and GE? It didn’t matter to me about this. But I do think it’s a bad location for this business.

  3. Jim August 25, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Typical new Southie, the hardworking people who grew up and stay in Southie by making it , with ma& pop store are getting screwed.. The new age Southie residence could give 2 shits about the original Southie residence. They are to worry about what good for me, so selfish people. What made the old Southie special was helping neighbor , now hits about helping oneself .

    • Sean August 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      Go to Bway anytime after 7 AM in the morning and watch all the hardworking people crowding to get on buses to go to work downtown. Then return to the same stop at 7 PM and see the same hardworking people returning home 12 hrs later. Don’t you think they deserve a cup of coffee, neighbor?

    • Bob August 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Ah yes, the mom and pop stores like dunkin donuts and Cumberland farms.

  4. Elaine Eagar August 25, 2016 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I wonder how this really got approved? Starbucks sucks. Not only that, not good for double parking for commuters and the neighbors. Not to mention the Cranberry Cafe’s etc.

  5. Karen August 25, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Baileys closed so there’s room for another coffee shop on that corner. With constant conversion of single and 2 families becoming multi unit buildings, there are tons more coffee drinkers heading into work on the 7 and the 9.. I’ve enjoyed my iced Snick from Sidewalk cafe for 2 decades and will continue to do so every morning, only now when I want a late night dark roast or an iced mocha or cake pop periodically, I won’t have to drive to Star Market on Morrisey or Broadway T. If mom and pop shops can’t compete with Starbucks they simply need to put out a better product or have faster service for morning commuters (we all know how frustrating it is to wait for a latte in any Starbucks across the country). And bottom line, Starbucks will make that building keep its curb appeal and reduce turnover and vacancy at that corner. Some mom and pop shops need to care for their exteriors and interiors a little more so they are cozier and more inviting (hint hint Boston Bagel!)

  6. JA August 25, 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Great addition to the neighborhood – very welcomed! There is still a market for the M&P places with different price point. Starbucks will be a good addition and a great cafe “meeting place”

  7. Dan Delaney August 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    A Starbucks (SB)Victory for the “Better People” with discerning palates. Andy should understand that capitalism is about consumer choice. There’s a reason SB has 23k locations & Boston Bagel (BB)has 2. Maybe the owners of BB can open a Swamscott location where they live. Jim somehow turns the approval of the worlds most popular coffee chain into a referendum on new vs old Southie residents. Jim take your adderall and focus on the subject matter at hand.
    Michael Norton is a local businessman who signed a great long term commercial lease with a great counterparty. Look forward to the free WiFi and a double espresso sitting in my comfortable leather chair in my warm SB on cold winter mornings. A big victory for the Coffee over Condos movement! We’re making Southie great again, one Latte at a time.

  8. Andrea Flaherty August 26, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    This has nothing to do with old and new South Bostonians. If you live here you are a resident. For all the people who directly live in the neighborhood that are directly effected by the traffic and parking I am sorry for this coffe shop. I am a long time resident and I was worried about the safety of the elderly and the schoolchildren crossing on the coner of L.& Broadway. I bet very few of the people where abutters that sent in for Starbucks. Thank you all for your support and I am a Starbucks coffee drinker. I WAS REALLY CONCERNED SAFETY!!!
    Andrea Flaherty.

  9. Kyle August 26, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    No problem with Starbucks, but I don’t get why anyone would go there with better food and coffee options down the street (IMO). I thought the same thing with the Dunks that just opened on L. Would have been a great spot for a restaurant instead, but it seems like West Broadway is taking over in that capacity.

    • John August 26, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Remember that there are many people who like Starbucks and many people who don’t. Life is about choices. Having more options is never a bad thing. Your idea of what is better food may not be the same as someone else. Viva la différence!!

      • Kyle August 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

        Agreed, that’s why I threw the “IMO” disclaimer in there. Starbucks just seems like a disappointment after all the restaurant talk for that spot.

  10. Frank Donaghue August 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    With almost 44700, locations Subway is a victory for discerning palates? Can’t really go along with that logic but I say live and let live. If people crave the a similar experience that can have in Cleveland, Seattle, or anywhere else that Starbucks calls home, let ’em have it. There is no accounting for taste.

  11. Ferg August 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    I guess I understand the old Southie vs new Southie argument. It’s human nature to be a little weary when your neighborhood undergoes changes. But it’s hard to deny that Southie has become a much more desirable place to live.

    Are the long- time Southie residents going to give back the money they’ve made in escalating property values over the recent years? Or any of you 40 year residents dropping your rent prices in the face of the rising popularity of the area? Of course not, and no one expects that. The other side of that coin, when you have an influx of people with money to pay some of the highest rents in the country, who want to actually have places to go — well, you have to give them places to go.

    The ma and pa shops will adapt, most likely for the better. Broadway Bagels has a prime location, and has done little to take advantage of it. As a professional who is based out of my home, and just a few blocks from Broadway and L, I would *love* to have a comfortable and welcoming place to walk to and get some work done for a few hours outside my home office. Right now, there really isn’t such a place.

    I’m generally all for supporting locally owned businesses and make attempts to do just that. But when a market will support a specific request/demand, and it’s not it’s not satisfied by the local ma and pa, well, some business will recognize that and move in to serve that market.

  12. Eric Kozloski August 28, 2016 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Mike Norton redeems his horrendous boys club basketball career by finally winning a contest at City point. He couldn’t dribble with his left hand nor shoot a jump shot( that would presume he could jump) Starbucks,,,,swish…..

    But the humiliation at the hands of the hoop players from city point turned him into a solid businessman. A terrible athlete turns into a sharp businessman. A lesson for all you slow, white point guards, who can’t shoot, jump, or pass. Business success is around the corner. ( Albeit against the community haters) Way to go Mike ! This one was a layup !

  13. Dan Delaney August 29, 2016 at 12:14 am - Reply

    Mr. Donahue, the combat zone disappeared since the Internet made standing on street corners obsolete. The comparison of Starbucks & Subway is odious. All the yokel locals are selling out to big time consortiums. Keep clinging to your burger from Sully’s when the wrecking ball hits your apartment to turn it into a yoga studio. SoBo is a world class neighborhood. We need more forward thinkers like Mike Norton to see the future rather than clinging to a hopefully forgotten past. Head to Liberty Bell for a roast beef sandwich, oops they sold out to developers too. Those local business owners are no profiles in courage when big bucks supersede their Southie Loyalty. Join me at Mike Nortons Starbucks where Discerning Palates will sample America’s best coffee. Go buy some gas at L & 3rd street. Oops local owner sold that too……….

  14. Pat September 6, 2016 at 1:57 am - Reply

    No matter where you stand on Starbuck’s, no doubt some of you liberal, arrogant newbies are, well, just that, liberal and arrogant:
    The Old Southie had family, faith, tradition, loyalty and kids — lots of children. It was a neighborhood. No need to denigrate the old neighborhood. Show some respect, and have some class. At least try.

  15. Dan Delaney September 13, 2016 at 1:12 am - Reply

    Pat, are you on hallucinogens ? Did you miss forced busing when those families with lots of kids bolted for the suburbs. Judge Garrity’s school system created a Southie Society where dogs are the new off spring. The old Southie is gone, get over it & enjoy the vibe of the rich young elite who grace our neighborhood. Old Southie is a mythical memory that needs to be removed from the closed minded sectarians who have yet to sell out. No need to live in the past, accept that he fact you live in SoBo & Southie is gone.. It will win you respect at your next Donald Trump rally.

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