Subway, one of the new tenants of the soon to be completed 11 West Broadway building in South Boston, is seeking a license from the city to open from 6 a.m. to midnight, but neighbors are having none of it.
At a Thursday evening meeting a handful of residents turned out to meet with franchise owner Navin Patel and his representative Paul Gibbs.
Residents said they weren’t too keen on the idea of the national sandwich chain having such long hours, especially such an early opening in the morning.
“We have a lot of vagrancy and drug issues in this community,” said Bill Gleason, president of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, the sponsor of Thursday’s meeting. “We’re concerned about your hours of operation because it gives them somewhere to linger.”
The chain, which will be housed in one of the three ground-floor retail spaces in the new residential building, sells both breakfast and lunch and according to Patel, part of his franchisee agreement is to be open for breakfast.
“Ten to 10 p.m. is not possible,” Patel responded to the residents’ suggested hours of operation. “Subway would not let me open the store.”
Others in attendance said there is also concern about the store adding congestion to the already crowded intersection during rush-hour and having an impact on the quality of life of residents.
“We’re asking you as neighborhood people to respect the neighborhood and curtail the hours of operation,” said David Ganack, an area resident.
One resident, however, was supportive of the restaurant’s bid for extended hours.
“I would be one of those customers [going there for breakfast],” said Harsh Vahalia, an area resident. “There are more people in the community than the people in this room.”
Patel and Gibbs are expected to go before the city’s Licensing Board in the near future for a common victualler license, which allows them to sell food. While not necessary, community support does help bolster an applicant’s case.
On Thursday, however, Patel said he will also go back to Subway to see if it is at all possible to adjust the store’s hours.
Subway’s new storefront is just one of three new eateries coming to the neighborhood that will be housed in the new six-story, 50-unit rental structure, slated to be completed July 15.
A Starbucks, which was granted a 5 a.m. opening and 11 p.m. closing, and Stephanie’s, which at the earliest will open at 10 a.m. and at the latest close at 2 a.m., will inhabit the spaces next to Subway.
In the immediate area there are also a handful of other breakfast restaurants including Dunkin Donuts, which has a 5 a.m. opening and 10 p.m. closing, and Mul’s Diner, which also opens at 5 a.m.