Petit Robert Bistro to open new restaurant at 560 Harrison Ave
Those who have attended the SoWa Winter Village that opened after Thanksgiving will know that the team behind Petit Robert have announced they will be opening a new restaurant focusing on southern French cuisine in the space that was formerly home to Gaslight Brasserie for many years. One can also assume the space that served as a daytime cafe (formerly Greenlight Cafe) will also reopen when they formerly take over in the new year.
Currently the restaurant group is eyeing a February / March opening. Stay tuned for more details to follow from GTI Properties & Petit Robert team after the Winter Festival concludes.
The Boston Sports Club South End closed last spring after the property owner, GTI Properties, opted to takeover the space rather than renew their lease. Since the BSC closed, GTI has been remodeling the space to reopen a boutique Health + Wellness facility. The new facility will have four group studios, new gym equipment, remodeled “executve” locker rooms, juice bar, and saunas.
The move by GTI Properties to overtake this space is a bold one, because they have a mixed track record of managing businesses outside of real estate management. They’ve done a great job opening the SoWa Power Station as an event space, but they’ve struggled with the two restaurant spaces they’ve overtaken.
Setting those concerns aside, the gym is hoping to open in the spring. To stay up to date on information about membership fees and opening dates, check their web page, sowahealthandwellness.com.
When the Boston Sports Club South End closed at the end of March 2022, the neighborhood lost a large and popular gym. Rather than negotiate with the BSC for another longterm lease, the property owner, GTI Properties, made the bold move to takeover the space and redesign it as a health and wellness center that they would own and manage.
SoWa Health + Wellness eyes a January 1, 2023 opening
This spring, GTI Properties hinted at an October 2022 opening and to increase awareness and interest SoWa Health + Wellness hosted a free pop-up in the SoWa Power Station in June. The popular event included bootcamp, yoga, dance, and kickboxing classes by trainers who will be working at the gym when it opens.
Unfortunately, the remodeling efforts have required more work and time than initially anticipated and GTI Properties is now eyeing a January 1, 2023 opening. If you are looking for more information about classes, ammenities, and membership dues, GTI will likely begin sharing that at the start of the holiday season. Look for more information about the SoWa Health + Wellness center at this year’s SoWa Winter Festival, which is scheduled to open on Black Friday and run through Sunday, December 11th.
Yesterday, the Boston Restaurant Talk blog broke the news that Brasserie in the South End would be closing immediately. The restaurant which was overtaken by the property management company, GTI Properties and managed by Jeff Gates a former partner of The Aquitaine Group, which owned the Gaslight Brasserie du Coin had only been open for business since May 2021.
Minimal effort was put into the new restaurant which struck me more as a knock off of the original restaurant. It is unclear what will become of the space or if GTI Properties will continue to run the space. The same property management company has sunk significant money into updating and remodeling another former Aquitaine Group restaurant space (Cinquecento) just up the street. The initial plan was for that space to open this year as Roma 500. No word on the status of that space either.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about the future of the Boston Sports Club South End. Current and former employees have confirmed that the BSC would like to sign a new lease and the manager has indicated that negotiations with the landlord, GTI Properties are ongoing.
The current lease is set to expire this spring. If the BSC lease expires, it’s not clear if the space would be re-purposed, another chain would takeover, or if GTI would takeover the gym. While managing a gym would be a stretch for GTI, anything is possible. Last year, GTI Properties formed the SoWa Hospitality Group and hired Jeff Gates (former partner of Aquitaine Group) to manage food and beverage operations at the SoWa Powerstation, Brasserie, and Roma 500 (slated to open later this year). I hope the BSC and GTI come to some agreement. The uncertainty is frustrating, because it disincentivizes BSC from making any further investments or to improve the facility.
Regardless of the fate of the BSC South End, if the space remains a fitness center, the gym will need to do more to fend off competition from the many boutique studios that have opened. While these smaller studios are more expensive, their popularity increased during the pandemic.
During the pandemic two gyms opened blocks from the BSC SE, Elite Training Group (operated by former BSC SE trainers) and Epoc Studios. But these are hardly the only boutique studios to open. A quick Google search will show a dozen such gyms within blocks of the BSC SE — several of them owned and opened by former BSC South End trainers who’s clients followed them.