Officials in Boston's North End Explore Banning Corporate Chains

Business owners in Boston's North End appear to have won a battle to keep a Starbucks from coming to their neighborhood, but they say the fight to preserve the historic area is far from over as some consider a ban on chain stores altogether.

John Pregmon, the president of the North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council, said the ban may be worth exploring considering how passionate residents were about preventing a Starbucks.

“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Pregmon said. “Otherwise, we could have this battle every month.”

Pregmon said his council is looking into what it would take for the neighborhood to keep chain stores out and possibly declaring part of the neighborhood historic in an effort to protect it. The discussion is still in its early stages.

Damien DiPaola, a prominent North End business owner who led the charge against Starbucks, is also part of the neighborhood council. He believes support is brewing for the ban in wake of what happened with Starbucks.

“We won the first fight and we want to make sure there are no more fights,” DiPaola said. “So we can tell you to your face, we're not letting you in.”

NBC10 Boston reached out to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s office. His press secretary released the following statement:

“The Mayor welcomes discussions about issues that are important to each neighborhood, and appreciates the importance of sustaining the culture and historic nature in our communities.”

Walsh encouraged Starbucks to withdraw plans to come to the North End last week. Calls from NBC10 Boston to the property developer, Charter Realty, were not returned Monday.

Neighborhood council members were expecting Starbucks to officially withdraw at their meeting Monday night but said the company’s attorney called last minute to postpone. They are hoping to hear something more concrete by the end of the week.

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