By Sophia Falbo
Boston University News Service
The businesses on 1004-1016 Beacon Street in Brookline have recently closed, following a proposed al fresco dining pavilion plan for five restaurants to take over the block and open by early summer.
Roy Papalia, the exclusive agent of the retail property, said how people learned to appreciate outdoor dining during covid and restaurants are now recognizing that they could continue to provide this type of service for customers.
“With covid, everybody really started to enjoy al fresco dining,” Papalia said. “It was a great relief for them to get the heck out of the house.”
According to Showcase.com, the available space ranges from 1,450-14,493 square feet. The area is currently under renovation and has a negotiable lease for ten years.
Papalia said the property was sold and the new owner bought it about a year ago with the goal of developing restaurants to open in late June-early July.
The property up for rent is divided into eight sections, lettered A-H, but seven stores since Sections B and C cover one. Section A is expected to become a patio, and Sections B-H are anticipated to become an all-season heated and covered pergola for the plaza.
Some of the businesses that used to exist on that block include Brookline Bank, Economy True Value (a hardware store), Dunkin’ Donuts and Sichuan Gourmet (a Chinese restaurant).
While the area is converting from a mix of retail stores and restaurants to solely restaurants, the block will continue to boom with business as brand new store fronts are built and 270 patio seats will be provided for the restaurants. This block is directly in front of the St. Mary’s Street green line T stop, making it heavily populated, and also faces the sunny side of Beacon Street.
Dhruv Chandwani, a Boston University Junior who lives near the area, said that while he will miss some of the businesses on the block, especially Economy True Value, he is hopeful about what will replace them.
“I think because of the pandemic, the renovation or the plans they had for it just got delayed to now, and they are just revamping the place with like a plaza sort of thing,” Chandwani said.
Julia Fulfaro, a Boston University Sophomore who also lives nearby, said she feels sorry for the businesses who have been on the block for so long to all of the sudden be so easily replaced.
“I think adding new cuisine over there is a good idea, but I think this is even an extension of covid that businesses that have been in business for so long, and small businesses are feeling the impact in getting shut down,” Fulfaro said.
While some local residents are optimistic about the new plaza, others are more averse to the idea after seeing their favorite shops closed down.
Papalia said: “This is the ideal situation both in terms of where it’s located, it faces the sun, and it’s right at the T-stop so people can jump right on the train and come out there from anywhere in Boston.”