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JP Licks loses lease on Newbury Street

Boston Tweet reports there'll be no hemp ice cream for Back Bay residents.

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Makes sense now that Clover got the prime vagrancy spot outside its door.

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JP Licks has been sticking it to customers for years with outrageous prices. Turnabout is fair play.

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Went in there last week and paid $4.25 for a small fro-yo that was about 3 oz. Good riddance.

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Then take it over to Carvel, ya cheap fuck. Oh, there's no Carvel? Then head over to Coldstone, put up with the song and dance and get a cupful of ice cream product for about 66% of the price.

Either way, don't give to a local. Because, you know, Vince Petryk just drives around in his Bugatti lighting cigars with $100 bills. No, just have someone scrape some high fructose corn syrup in a cup, put some sprinkles on it and ladle it into a troth for you for $2 because, you know, cheap is always better and nobody ever pays for quality.

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I went to Christina's in Inman Square last night, and a small ice cream there was over $1 cheaper than at JP Licks. Similar quality, still eminently local. I'm all for buying local, but the argument that JP Licks is overpriced isn't just about local vs. non-local businesses.

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And thank you for not buying what the straw man is selling. Nobody is arguing that you should get a gallon of ice cream at JP Licks for $5. But $5 for an ice cream cone wherever (it's the same price on Newbury Street as it is in JP and WR) is too much.

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CLearly the loaction is far more expensive on Newbury street than in cambridge. Do you want to make sure the privately owned companies make no money?

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I happened to go to Christina's last night in Inman Square. Similar quality, eminently local. And guess what? A small ice cream there is over $1 cheaper than at JP Licks. Sure, Inman Square rent is probably cheaper than Newbury St., but that's almost surely not the case for most of JP Licks' other locations.

I'm all for supporting local businesses, but the argument that JP Licks is overpriced isn't just about supporting a high-quality local business.

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I think it was JP Licks' first branch outside JP. At some point they decided not to keep it and it became the independent Christina's.

a 1983 Boston Phoenix ad for JP Licks in Inman Square

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Really? A storefront in Inman is maybe a little cheaper than one on Newbury st.?

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Why are you trumpeting this false argument? JP Licks isn't more expensive because it's paying higher rents on Newbury Street.

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But you have some axe to grind with JP Licks, so your opinion is worth about as much as a cow's... it's moo.

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Seriously...it's ice cream, not drinking water or heating oil. But please feel free, oh wise Anon, to share with us the REAL reason why ice cream costs what it does. But if you don't think rent is a factor--even the averaged rent of all of the different locations--then I'm not sure I trust your business savvy.

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And you only had to take the No. 1 bus to Central Square and hike about five blocks over to get it? Oh, please, do go on...

Also interesting that you assume a scoop at JP Licks costs as much on Newbury Street as it does at Legacy Place, or that you didn't stop in at Tosci's... which is just as far out, but has prices nearly identical to JP Licks.

You're clearly not "all for" supporting local business if you're willing to spend $1.50 in bus fare to "save" $1. JP Licks provides excellent value for the price, which isn't "over"anything.

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Don't be intellectually dishonest. It's expensive ice cream. It doesn't help your case to craft ridiculous arguments about taking a bus across the river to buy an ice cream cone.

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to suggest that a chain price their product differently in different neighborhoods! Good heavens. If you want to spend your $4 taking the T to buy cheaper ice cream or sitting home in the dark eating Breyers, for Gods sake do it--this whingeing about the cost of an ice cream cone is ree-diculous. Have you bought popcorn at a movie theater lately?

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In fact, the folks in support of the pricing are the ones stating that the prices are fine "because it's Newbury Street" (as if JP Licks does in fact base its prices on the neighborhood). My point is that the ice cream is objectively expensive, regardless of whether you are buying it on Newbury Street or in an outlying neighborhood.

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No store in its right mind is going to charge in WR what it charges on Newbury. That applies across the board. You don't exactly need an MBA to figure out why.

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I don't know whether there is a price variance among the JP licks locations, but if there is, rent is probably only a small element of now they've determined pricing. There is a vast difference in volume between a Newbury St. Location and a strip mall in the far reaches of West Roxbury. I'd bet a few gallons of ice cream that rent per customer sale is far lower on Newbury St. Aside from rent, other gross fxed costs are comparable. Not to mention, even if the Newbury st. Store makes less per unit sold it could still be more profitable.

My opinion? $5 is too expensive for any neighborhood.

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Because a line 30 people deep at the JP Licks in Coolidge Corner after "Friends With Kids" let out just disagreed with you.

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... on any nice day, probably including tonight.

BUT, if you don't want to wait in that line, cross the street to the Somerville Theatre and buy a 'small' (actually huge) cup of Richardson's ice cream from the concession stand. You don't have to buy a movie ticket to do this. Then take it back across the street into the brick plaza.

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You haven't offered one shred of evidence that JP Licks is prohibitively more expensive than anything else being offered in the Greater Boston Area. No pricing, no alternate examples... hell, no figure that states what you believe the baseline price of ice cream to be?

Do you know that ice cream is produced with commodities? Milk, cream, chocolate, vanilla beans, sugar, any number of stir-ins like cherries, strawberries, etc. Those all cost money and fluctuate in value on a regular basis. When a business using those items sees those costs increase, they have to make up the difference somewhere.

I get ice cream from JP Licks because it uses those ingredients and because I'm assured a quality product whenever I go in. If you want a $2 cup of plastic food product, feel free to take it over to Costco for some soft serve.

I'm sorry, but $5 isn't expensive just because you choose not to pay it. I'm guessing it shocks you to discover that the going price for a non fast-food, non SYSCO burger is $7 to $8, if not more. Get your head out of the time warp of your posterior.

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First, you've wrongly claimed that JP Licks absolutely charged more at Newbury Street than it does in JP and WR. Where is your evidence for this claim? See HenryAlan's post above about pricing.

Second - this thread is replete with evidence that JP Licks is more expensive than other ice cream stores in the area. In fact, the most common rebuttal from the pro-JP Licks crowd is to attack the other side for being cheap along with an exhortation to go buy cheap ice cream at any one of a number of cheaper locations (take a bus to Somerville, etc.)

We get it - you like JP Licks and are determined to buy the product at its current pricing structure. Many feel it is overpriced.

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HenryAlan just backed up the guy's claim. A combination of various expenses lead to different prices at different locations. Did you bother to read this post, or did you just skim it until you came to a part that made you go "See, I was right."

"Any one of a number of cheaper locations." Or, you know, one. Christina's is the only location mentioned and it's two towns away in Somerville. This is a regular granite slab of an argument you're chiseling.

The evidence for the claim that JP and WR stores charge less than the Newbury Street location is in JP and WR stores. On the chalkboards. Where they keep the prices. At some point, personal experience comes into play and apart from going to each JP Licks, taking photos of the price boards and posting them here, there's really no other way to offer that evidence. Of course, he wouldn't have to do so if you'd ever been to each in your lifetime and had seen them yourself.

Read HenryAlan's post. All of it. All the words, punctuation... the whole nine yards. Then wipe the spittle off your keyboard, turn the couch you've been shaking change out of upright and write a proper apology for being such a cheap and miserable bastard.

P.S. A pint of Ben and Jerry's is $4 at Stop & Shop. Now imagine that pint needs people to serve it, a building to serve it in, heat and plumbing for that building and considerations for the surrounding market to help adjust the volume of ice cream made with fresh ingredients you'll be selling on a regular basis. That's how you get $5 ice cream.

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I don't think it says what you think it says.

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Christina's is in Cambridge. All of the Inman Square businesses are in Cambridge, except for Trina's Starlite Lounge (formerly the Abbey Lounge).

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Because you're pinching that penny way too hard.

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WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!

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Love the place, but you probably spent just as much getting there as you "saved" at JPLicks.

Here's a clue: It's Newbury Street. Things cost more. My mint chip frappe costs less at the actual JP JPLicks, but I'm not exactly feeling robbed. If I want ice cream or fro-yo on Newbury, JPLicks is still the best local option and has great ice cream.

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Ummm do you know Vince? Didn't think so...he cares about this company more than you know. Shut your mouth

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Yeah, it's pricey. But, on a hot steamy summer night you get to sit down, eat your ice cream cone with a/c blasting and decent music playing. Where else can you get that in the Back Bay for $5? And please don't say Pinkberry...

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Buy an carton at the Shaws at the Prudential for the same $4, sit down outside with a spoon, and enjoy.

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And you know how those pricks are, always nickel and dimeing you for some bullshit. Naw, bring it home and pull down the shades, because someone's always trying to look into your windows and steal your lottery numbers. Then watch some antenna TV that's a whole hell of a lot less expensive than that junk that the cable and satellite folks are shoveling at you. Maybe there's a game on free TV, because you know NESN's going to try to screw you out of another dollar in cable fees this year. And don't even think of turning the lights on, because that's how National Grid gets you.

I guess what I'm saying is this: If you want ice cream, get the cheapest tub of crap you can find and eat it alone in the dark in a house you fashioned out of scraps of metal you found laying around. Because that, my friend, is why you live in a city.

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Oh no!

I won't be able to shop on Newbury Street on hot, steamy summer night!

JP Licks is the Friendly's for hipsters.

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Oh right, I forgot... everyone who lives in the Back Bay is a rich asshole! Thanks for reminding me before I head off to Trader Joe's on Boylston to buy my dozen golden eggs.

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I still miss the Brigham's on Boylston Street.

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What I wouldn't give for a half-gallon of mokeralmint right now.

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on Pinkberry. I'm all set supporting an a-hole who beats up homeless people & treats them like garbage.

Brigham & Hood IC are much better than Friendly's.

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My understanding is that the guy who beat up homeless people isn't with Pinkberry anymore and hasn't been for two years or so.

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What do you think they pay for rent in that store? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see a cadre of ice cream billionaires cruising around Boston in cow-painted Maseratis. It's good ice cream--if you don't like it, stay home and eat some Sealtest. Or head next door to Starbucks and pay $4.25 for coffee instead.

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Hey Pal,
Time to check out the real world....
the going rate for good ice cream on Newbury Street [email protected]$4.
JP Licks gave you great ice cream, a nicer store, faster service, nice kids and a clean and interesting place for you to eat it in.
I wish more places in Boston "stuck it to me" the way they did it.

Can you fill in the missing letters A_ _ hole?

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I've known Vince, the owner of JP Licks, for years and in my not-very-humble opinion, the guy is a major turd, although i like his ice cream.

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Sorry that I'm a "Major Turd" but thanks for buying my ice cream anyway. In a weird way, that's one of the nicest compliments I've ever received about my ice cream!

My rent on Newbury Street(and most of my stores) is well over 100K per year...that's a lot of $4 cones to just pay the rent!,
I try to treat my customers and employees fairly, our stores are clean, in good repair, aren't made of formica and plastic, and we serve the best ice cream I know how to make.

Take a deep breath guys...

It's not cheap ice cream, we can all agree on that. What I try to offer everyone is a good value not cheap ice cream. Value isn't based on just price. It's based on quality, service, environment, cleanliness and price. Most of the time we do a pretty good job in all these areas and I'm proud of it. I also feel I make a fair profit and I'm proud of that too, because we all work hard here to do a good job and deserve to.

So any way, thanks for caring enough to slug it out, I'll miss my Newbury customers, I hope you can come and have a cone at our new shop on Charles Street this April.

XOOX.
Vince

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It's Newbury Street's loss.

Not sure why people are belly aching about your prices -- it's not like anyone is _forced_ to eat your ice cream cones.

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Oh no!

My uncle actually built that tile counter in there. Shame to see it torn down!

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Tell your Uncle Mitch I said "Hi!" and if he's ever around JP to stop by the shop and ask for me. I'll treat him to a cup of coffee and would love to see him again.

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blew friendly's out of the water. my mom used to take me downtown for a tuna sandwich and a frappe, neither one has ever tasted so good.

anybody remember the turnstyle/big buy? in allston that had a brighams set in the middle rear on a staged platform?

why did brighams fail?

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But I'd be happy to have either or both near at hand again.

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Bailey's was terrific. It had a touch of class. It was the kind of "uniquely Boston" place that you don't see as much anymore. I remember the main one on the corner of Tremont and Winter Streets. You could enter from either side. There was one on Franklin Street also, and the one in Harvard Square.

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What I most remember about them were the deep, deep metal cups that they served their ice cream and sundaes in.

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Very old fashioned way of serving ice cream -- I loved it.

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I loved Bailey's atmosphere with the flocked maroon wallpaper, marble tables, faux-Tiffany lamps. I think unfortunately in it's later years it got kind of a reputation for being for "little old ladies". I think it became considered too old fashioned for modern urban sensibilities, which is really a shame.

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That kept everything icy cold. That was the best. Scraping the solidified butterscotch off the rim of one of those cups...

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Where was Brigham's on Boylston Street? I miss Brigham's as well, especially the Frappes. It's too bad it couldn't suruvive in restaurant form, except in Arlington Heights.

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There were at least three Brigham's on Boylston Street simultaneously. I think the one referenced here was the one across the street from Lord & Taylor in Copley Square. There was also one in the (pre-mall)Pru. I know that's not technically Boylston Street, but it was closer to the Boylston side than the Huntington side. A bit further down, there was a Brigham's at the corner of Boylston and Tremont, which is now a Dunkin Donuts. There was a time when Brigham's locations were as plentiful in downtown Boston and surrounding areas as Starbucks is now.

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But I think that goes way back. It had the old logo, more scripty and pink and blue, I think. There was also a KFC on Charles Street at the time, but I digress...

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There was also a Brigham's in the old Charles River Plaza (when the movie theater was there) and one in Government Center on Tremont Street across from what is now the Starbucks with the steaming kettle. And, believe it or not, one near Faneuil Hall where the McDonald's is now. They were absolutely everywhere.

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The one at the Charles plaza was great. You could buy a half-pint and eat it while watching a movie, except for the big screen upstairs where they had an actual usher, and it was tougher to sneak food in.Good times,Sherman, start up the way-back machine.

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And a couple of steps from the Women's Industrial Union and from Bailey's. Miss those days.

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The Belmont one closed on January 10, and is being turned into an independent local ice cream place called Moozy's.

Is the Arlington Heights store (still owned by the folks who used to own Belmont) the only Brigham's location still open anywhere?

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The location in the Wollaston section of Quincy is still open.

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It's been discussed before, but they failed mostly because of changing times and bad management and then later, worse management from some outside company. The ice cream was always terrific and the raspberry lime Rickey's, but in later years the charm of the restaurants paled considerably--they didn't update, or play on any stylish retro thing, and the food was pretty grim.

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They'll be back in the area, never fear. Bigger and better, too. Probably by mid-summer if the details go smoothly. So I'm told.

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Just wow. It's a local business, higher prices are what you pay for getting a quality product (30+ flavors?) and a great atmosphere. I KNOW they pay their employees really, really well there, that's why they're always really chipper and happy.

This is so sad. RIP.

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So many vacancies on Newbury, and the landlord thinks he can gain something by kicking out J.P. Licks? It's the worst looking storefront on that street. I have a feeling J.P will wind up a block or so east, and the old store will just be a garage.

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They will be missed on Newbury! I loved taking my dog for a stroll on a hot summer day and grabbing myself an ice cream and my pup a "cow paw". -Mea www.hertrainstories.blogspot.com

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Everyone bad mouthing JP Licks obviously doesn't know Vince and also doesn't understand that it they could make prices cheaper they would. I worked at this location and now I sadly have to work in Davis Sq. Go get coldstone guys...go support a corporation rather than supporting a Boston local company. 3 ounces of froyo? You probably got a kiddie, 5 ounces is a small. The people who work there arent dumb. I tell you what, get off your ass from your office job and try serving the stuck up people like yourselves on Newbury st for one day with a line to the door and tell me what it's like. You guys don't know jack so go bad mouth the government or something that deserves it.

-Andrew (proudly serving a JP Licks for a year)

Ps I loved this store and it meant a lot to me, I miss it more than I thought I would.

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enjoy your career!

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Oh, aren't you just such a superior being! or perhaps just a smarmy being?
hmmm.....
maybe you're just envious that the kid loves his job.

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Maybe you're sorry you didn't say it first!

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I can't believe this whole discussion.

  • There's no such thing as an objectively reasonable price for ice cream. Ice cream is the quintessential discretionary purchase.
  • The correct price to charge for your ice cream is the price that maximizes your return over the long haul. Charge too much, and customers will go to your competitor, or do something else beside eat ice cream, or get pissed off at you and slander your name all over the place. Charge too little and you're leaving money on the table.
  • This has nothing to do with what you pay for rent, or for cream and sugar, or for salaries. Nothing at all.

Isn't this pretty much a high-school level understanding of pricing?

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