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South Boston Techies Need to Eat to Beat Silicon Alley

Yes, South Boston really is going to change forever this year. The surest sign yet? The techies can't find a decent meal. Per Michael Farrell in The Globe:

"When I first got down here, you wouldn’t see anybody else," said Ted Morgan, founder of Skyhook Inc., a navigation software company that opened there in 2005. Back then, he couldn’t get a good Internet connection, he said, but "now, there are too many people, and not enough places for lunch." Ye gods. With about a dozen new developments adding more than 1 million square feet to the area—not to mention the much-vaunted micro-apartments to warehouse these avid indoorsmen—the push is on to add restaurants—something!—post-haste. Southie's Innovation District can't fight San Fran's Silicon Valley and Manhattan's Silicon Alley on an emptty stomach, after all.

“It’s really difficult to do this,’’ [John Harthorne of MassChallenge] said. “It’s a many-sided, chicken-and-egg game. People don’t want to move to a neighborhood that doesn’t have any restaurants, and restaurants don’t want to move to a neighborhood that doesn’t have any people.’’ Yet the restaurants are arriving. On any given weekday, it can be difficult to find a spot at the lunch counter at Sportello, the high-end Italian dining spot that restaurateur Barbara Lynch opened in 2008, although it’s hard to know whether that’s because of the neighborhood or Lynch, whose name may be enough of a draw to pull people from outside the area.

Frankly, we'd be more worried long-term about the rising commercial rents; and the rising residential rents sure to follow; and then the transit cuts that might make getting to the district more difficult for those then not able to afford to live there.

· High-Tech Firms Find Fertile Turf in South Boston [Globe]
· The Departed: South Boston to Change Forever This Year [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Will Manhattan Rents Fly in South Boston? [Curbed Boston]

Innovation District

1 Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA 02101