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New South Boston Starbucks at L Street and Broadway nears tipping point

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City to hold another hearing Aug. 17

Back in May, the city denied Starbucks the necessary license to open an outpost in a vacant storefront at 749 East Broadway, at the corner of L Street in Southie. The reasons for the rejections were familiar ones in Boston: concern about traffic, gentrification (including the potential harm to small businesses), and double parking.

The coffee chain is going to try for the license again at a hearing on Wednesday morning. If a Monday evening public meeting is any indication, Starbucks has a pretty good shot this go-round.

According to Caught in Southie, the more than 100 Southie residents in attendance were generally receptive to Starbucks opening at 749 East Broadway. The same traffic, parking, and gentrification issues remain—make no mistake—but the company says it is working to address them.

Per the gentrification issue:

The topic of Mom and Pop shops being put out of business was brought up. One resident concerned that the chain will affect small independent coffee shops. She went on to say that those small businesses are the ones that support South Boston sports organizations, charities and local non-profits. ... Starbucks stated that it will work with these local organizations and support them in any way they can.

As for traffic, an attorney for Starbucks suggested that that’s less an issue for the company and the residents and more one for the City of Boston.

It should be noted, too, that Starbucks is but the latest business that has tried to fill the space at L and East Broadway. The others were restaurants that couldn’t get liquor licenses from the city. Stay tuned.