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Green Line delay prompts Medford's Boloco to close

Posted by Matt Byrne  September 15, 2011 10:06 AM

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The most recent delay of the Green Line Extension has claimed its first business casualty.

Boloco, the burrito and smoothie chain with locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, will close its Boston Avenue location in Medford Nov. 30, said John Pepper, the company's CEO, in an e-mail.

The message came after Pepper was invited by the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance to a planning meeting.

But instead of an RSVP, the neighborhood alliance received a missive from Pepper saying that the long-delayed billion-dollar transportation project was a factor in his choice to close the location.

In a statement, Pepper said that it was a combination of factors that led to his decision to close, including a failure to connect with the customer base in the area.

"Our service never attracted the droves of Tufts students and Medford residents we needed," Pepper said. "We didn’t see a compelling reason to do another lap around the track. We obviously wish that we had done things differently that could have made us successful."

The state announced last month that because of land-acquisition issues, the Department of Transportation revised its time line for the Green Line Extension construction, and said that the project was likely to be completed no earlier than 2018.

"We opened our Medford restaurant five years ago in great part due to the knowledge that the Green Line was ‘coming’ and would add vitality to Boston Ave.," Pepper wrote. "Sadly, we've recently decided not to renew our lease."

Pepper pledged his continued support for the project "from the sidelines," he said.

The restaurant will bid the neighborhood farewell Oct. 31 to thank customers and its employees, the statement said.


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