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City punts on South Boston Starbucks at L and East Broadway

Licensing board delays key vote

Boston’s licensing board decided on Thursday to delay its vote on a proposed Starbucks at L Street and East Broadway in Southie. The board was expected to vote on the proposal, capping months of controversy. Instead, it will make a decision at a future date that has yet to be determined.

The decision is fraught with meaning that goes well beyond access to caffeine. On one side are those who see Starbucks’ arrival in that location of core Southie as no big deal, a natural retail progression for the changing neighborhood.

Others see it as some kind of horseman of the gentrification apocalypse. As one Starbucks supporter put it to the Globe’s Jon Chesto recently: "This is old South Boston’s worst nightmare, a yuppie drinking a latte on the corner of L and Broadway."

Stay tuned.