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Expansion plans on hold for DeLuca's Market, Beacon Hill icon

Posted by Sara Brown  April 14, 2011 03:45 PM

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(Sara Brown for Boston.com)


DeLuca's Market had been boarded since a July 2010 fire. On Thursday, there was activity at the shop.

Construction is underway at DeLuca's Market, the popular Charles Street shop destroyed by a July 2010 fire, though the owner said he's postponed plans to expand the market and is uncertain about when the shop will reopen.

Owner Virgil Aiello said in an interview today that he's working on rebuilding the 105-year-old market where John F. Kennedy once shopped, though he "doesn't have a date" for reopening.

In March, Aiello appeared before the City of Boston's Beacon Hill Architectural Commission to get permission to "restore storefront to its original pre-fire condition." Aiello said he has needed permits to continue with reconstruction.

Last fall, Aiello said repairs were delayed by opposition to his plans to expand the store into an apartment Aiello owns above the shop, raising the roof of the Charles Street building by up to 10 feet. Neighbors voiced concerns about increased commercial space and potential loss of views and light.

Now, Aiello said he does not have plans "at the moment" to to expand the Charles Street DeLuca's, a neighborhood landmark that Aiello's uncle, Joseph S. DeLuca, an Italian immigrant, purchased in 1919.

While the shop had been boarded up since the four-alarm fire, on Thursday, the door of the shop was open and windows uncovered, revealing piles of debris, as workers exited the shop.

A second DeLuca's market on Newbury Street is still open for business.

Email Sara Brown at yourtownsara@gmail.com

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