It's official: Charlestown is getting a Starbucks.
Construction is currently underway at the historic Five Cents Saving Bank in Thompson Square, a location smack in the middle of town that dates to 1873.
"Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are happy to confirm that we will be opening a new location at One Thompson Square in Charlestown, MA, later this year," a company spokesperson told me.
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The location is the former site of a Gibson Sotheby's real estate office (pictured below), which is now in the process of building a new office space elsewhere in town. (Update: I've since learned the Starbucks will occupy the front left corner of the building; the Gibson's will become a Cambridge Savings Bank.)
When asked, a construction worker onsite told my wife that an "elite" Starbucks was coming to the space, one of small number anywhere in the U.S. However, the spokesperson contradicted this, telling me, "We can confirm that this location will not serve our Reserve coffees, and it will not be a Roastery or Reserve Bar."
In early 2016, news of the Starbucks first broke when John Moore, owner of Charlestown's Navy Yard Bistro, said he'd been approached by a realtor to put in a bid for another restaurant at the site, only to lose out to the national coffee chain.
As many of you know, I was strongly pursuing a lease in the old Five Cents Saving Bank Building in Thompson Square, Charlestown. The concept was to be a swanky Sushi and Wood Fired Burger Bar with some Thai dishes call "Nickel." Unfortunately, the Landlord is going to lease to a Starbucks. I will just be focusing on the Bistro at this time and working with my new Chef Michael Chandler "formerly of the Jean-Georges Restaurant" to keep my concept fresh and exciting.
Moore was dejected. And for a neighborhood thick with coffee shops but lacking in quality restaurants, the news didn't come as a welcome surprise.
"I'd be interested in really any space in Charlestown. There just isn't any," Moore told me at the time. "I don't think it's ever going to be a premiere dining destination."
The Starbucks wasn't set in stone back then, but it is now, with construction fully underway.
Whether it's some sort of "elite" offering or not, it's sure to see a lot of foot traffic.
Images via the author.
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