It appears as if Whole Foods at the Ink Block in the South End will be open for business starting Friday, January 9th at 10:00 AM. Local chefs will be making appearances the opening weekend including the likes of Joanne Chang-Myers.
Parking is available at the new grocery store and tours are even available this week to get a sneak peek at the newest (and largest) Whole Foods to open in Boston. You can follow them on Twitter for more updates @WFM_SouthEnd.
It took me more than eight months to circle back, but my post from this past spring, South End rumor: Caffe Nero, finally seems to be for real despite the lack of activity in the space formerly occupied by Francesca’s Cafe.
This weekend The Union Park Neighborhood Association distributed an agenda for their General Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 13th and at the top of their meeting agenda is time to discuss “Overview of plans for Caffe Nero, new tenant for space previously occupied by Francesca’s“.
There are no details regarding what those plans are that will be reviewed at the neighborhood association meeting. Hopefully this signifies that work will commence shortly so the space won’t remain vacant for much longer.
As I had mentioned in previous posts, the drastic increase in rent probably meant this space would require the deep pockets of a national (or in this case international) chain. I’d prefer to see a proliferation of independent coffee houses, but I’m sure that most people are happy to see that this will not be another bank, real estate or mortgage office.
Despite the fact that I’m currently in Brazil, friendly tips from readers continue to help me keep you posted about life in the South End. Just as I was the first to share with you news about BoMA’s closing earlier this year, I’m happy to be the first to let you know the Elephant Walk South End quietly opened their doors for business this past Sunday evening. News of their opening came to me from two readers, Dave & Owings, who happened to be walking by the restaurant Sunday evening.
While the restaurant has not noted the opening on their website or facebook, and they are not taking reservations on Opentable.com yet, look for these updates in the days that follow. I will be in Brazil through the holidays so at this point I have no further details to offer, but if you do check out Elephant Walk let me know your thoughts about the décor, menu and food.
Congratulations to the owners of Elephant Walk. I want to welcome them to the neighborhood and wish them much success.
Elephant Walk – 1415 Washington Street – (617) 247-1500
Earlier this month UniversalHub and EaterBoston shared news about the new restaurant that Rebecca Roth and Seth Yeffe (from Gallows South End) will open in the space that was formerly occupied by Hamersley’s Bistro.
According to information learned from a licensing board hearing the new restaurant will serve small plates and shared dishes that have Asian and Mediterranean flavors. Sounds delicious but it will need to be with the new Barcelona South End tapas restaurant only steps away. While I think most miss seeing Gordon working behind his kitchen, Rebecca is as savvy as she is sweet and one can assume the restaurant will be a popular destination for South End residents when it opens in 2015.
Average condo sales prices per square foot
Select image to enlarge
Last week Curbed Boston posted this image from the Collaborative Companies which shows the average condo sales prices per square foot in a number of Boston neighborhoods and surrounding towns.
Laura Ahmes-Gollinger from the Collaborative Companies explains in the post how this is impacting younger would-be buyers and renters,”The effect of this migration causes a gentrification of these neighborhoods as these new buyers (and renters) demand the residential infrastructure necessary to support their live/work/play convenient urban lifestyles. Somerville is a great example of this with the huge foodie scene, extension of the green line in planning, and the major plans for development and residential housing that we will see in the coming years. In contrast, foreign buyers and empty-nesters will continue to live in the heart of the city and are willing to pay high prices for these amenity-rich, full-service, maintenance-free lifestyles.”
The map makes Southie still look like a deal – that is if you can still find any since inventory is snapped up in hours. You can read the full article here.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Ted Tye, Managing Partner at National Development, the firm behind the South End’s Ink Block. In their temporary office across from the Ink Block, he showed me their plans for the new development and hinted at more news to share after the new year.
Ink 1 & 2 will open Feb 1, 2015 and are offering 1 month free rent for all 1 year leases and 6 weeks free rent for all 18 month leases.
Whole Foods is scheduled to open in just a few weeks but Ted was mum about giving an exact opening date in January. Don’t worry about the bad weather since 100+ parking spots are reserved for the store. In addition the Ink Block will offer cool amenities including: underground connectivity to Whole Foods so one needn’t go outside in bad weather; a new gym; pool and outdoor function space to enjoy and host parties. Also look for a new Hubway station and parking for a couple of ZipCars.
When speaking to the team at National Development they were keen to impress upon me their desire to leverage their commercial space for new restaurants (non-chains) that can provide more affordable dining options. They want restaurants because they would like to have tenants that will be open after normal business hours to avoid having the block go dark and to encourage more pedestrian traffic.
Last night one of the South End’s most eagerly anticipated restaurants had a soft opening. Upon entering Barcelona South End, patrons will see a large (26-seat) horseshoe shaped white marble bar that opens to the kitchen behind it. The sterile modern decor of its predecessor is gone – replaced by dark wood ceilings and floors that contrast with the white marble bar and subway tile along the back wall.
The tapas menu will offer plenty of temptations at an affordable price with most items ranging $6-$10. If you want more than tapas their menu has Paella, Meat & Fish and Mixed Grilled options ranging from $19 – $25. The cocktail menu and wine list are equally inviting, which makes me think this will become a favorite watering hole for locals looking for a place where they can catch up with friends and nibble on a few bites during the week.
The bar staff was knowledgeable and clearly excited to be open for business, reinforcing an already friendly atmosphere. The food we tried was quite good but sadly our photos didn’t do the food justice enough so I promise to go back for a more thorough sampling. Look for Barcelona to open in the coming days.
Barcelona – 525 Tremont Street – (617) 266 2600