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South Boston and Starbucks: Why It Doesn't Matter If the Neighborhood Gets Another One

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For one thing, there are several there already

The hullabaloo over plunking a new Starbucks at L Street and East Broadway on Southie's East Side continues to echo. The caffeine hegemon just asked the city's licensing board to reconsider its April denial of a permit to operate at the corner.

Starbucks says it will be meeting with residents concerned about the usual Starbucks-y things—gentrification, forcing out mom-and-pops, gentrification, increased foot and car traffic, gentrification—and that the board should hold another hearing afterward.

The back-and-forth, while not all that surprising, is a lot of kvetching about nothing. For one thing, there are already several Starbucks in South Boston. Most are clustered in the Seaport area, but there is that depot by the Red Line's Broadway stop (that one stirred controversy, too).

For another, Southie is already changing—and rapidly. New developments keep popping up, prices and rents keep rising, and the feel of the place keeps shifting. Starbucks in this case is less harbinger than result.