Back Bay

Back Bay’s changing storefronts
By Will Albright

Back Bay residents have watched a trend develop in the last decade that has transformed Newbury Street into what feels to some like one big open mall of corporate-owned chain stores.

Some even refer to it as “mallification.”

Duck Tour buses frequently zoom down Newbury Street past a Banana Republic, Cartier, Starbucks after Starbucks, Diesel, Brooks Brothers, The Puma Store, Sonsie, Emporio Armani, Nike and what seems to be an endless chain shopping street.

“ We have been worried that the whole thing is going to turn into one outdoor mall,” said Shirley Kressel, a resident of Back Bay for more than 10 years. “There are a lot of fancy restaurants here and more chain stores, but a lot of other local services have disappeared.”

Mallification has taken away basic businesses like bakeries, shoe repair shops and cheap, privately owned eateries.

The former chair of the Neighborhood Associations of Back Bay, Fred Mauet, said that he has seen a considerable change in the more than 25 years he’s lived in the neighborhood.

Residents feel that having commercial storefronts on the lower-levels of buildings and keeping residents on the upper-level is essential to holding onto and sense of neighborhood.


“ There’s no longer any deli style restaurants where people can get a cheap bite and hang out,” said Mauet. “In 1978 there was a still about four or five of them, now there’s not one.”

Residents point out that there is not even a bakery in the Back Bay or a place to buy good bread.

Kressel even asks friends coming from other neighborhoods to bring bread from their local bakeries. “A bakery is an everyday, low-end kind of thing. Now you can only have fancy restaurants or chain stores.”

-page 2 In Every City-


Article 1

Back Bay’s changing storefronts

  -In every city
-A community for tourists?

Article 2

Back Bay loses a treasured bookstore


-Closing in

-Old friends

-Moving online

-A quote from Vincent


Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop

Back Bay Home



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