Proposed Newbury Street sandwich shop would let you avoid talking to anybody; would provide paper bags and Sharpies for ordering

Ed. note: Address corrected.

The Board of Appeals this week approved a proposed Newbury Street sandwich shop in which customers grab a bag, write their sandwich options and their name on it, then hand that off to a counter person for sandwich assembly.

The proposed Which Wich at 324 Newbury St. would be the chain's third outlet in the Boston area, the first in the city itself.

Brek Peterson of Andover, who will own the franchise with his wife, needed board approval because the eatery would be up four steps, making it inaccessible to people in wheelchairs.

Anderson told the board had looked at several ways to provide access to the old building, but each would create problems of their own - for example, one would require a ramp through his kitchen, while lowering the first floor to eliminate the steps would require lowering the ceiling above a sub-sidewalk area, causing issues there. Peterson said he would install a callbox at the sidewalk through which people in wheelchairs could see a menu and make orders.

The proposed eatery still needs approval from the Boston Licensing Board.

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Comments

Sure.

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Nothing like sitting outside in a wheelchair during bad weather waiting for your meal.

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Voting closed 30

Why bother?

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Just talk into Jeff Bezos' hockey puck and a self-driving Uber will bring you a sandwich. You won't have to interact with any other human beings or even leave the house.

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Voting closed 17

Vertical Platform Lift

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Vertical Platform Lift

Buy one or face a Civil Rights lawsuit you cheapskates!

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The ADA standard is "readily

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The ADA standard is "readily achievable". In this case the owners argued that a vertical lift is not readily achievable.

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Given that this is a chain

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Given that this is a chain restaurant with over 400 locations across the country, I don't think anyone is claiming that store #432 invented the concept.

This is how HBS has handled sandwich orders (a card w/ check boxes) for years in their cafeteria.

In fact, the word "innovative" or any synonym doesn't even appear in this article, so what exactly are you responding to?

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Voting closed 21

Given Adam's description

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touting the place's "humanless"food ordering system, and the fact I've never heard of any other independent restaurant in the Boston area using it (until you mentioned your cafeteria example). Now, how would describe such a scheme in one word?

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Voting closed 21

Boloco & Pizza

I like Boloco (maybe the only one) and for 5+ years they have had an ipad kiosk in most stores where you can order and pay, then just wait for your name to be called for pickup.

I prefer the ipad, not because I hate interaction, but because it's easier to order exactly what I want. I suspect the employees would just as well not have to press a bunch of buttons either. We both win.

Online ordering of Pizza is pretty much the same idea and that's been around since the late 90s.

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Voting closed 12

Automat

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Do any of those still exist somewhere?

The last one I saw was in the 1980s and I can't even remember what city it was in that I saw it.

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Wheelchair access?

So how do all of the other eateries on Newbury Street provide wheelchair access? Because there are a whole bunch of others that aren't at street level either.

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Major renovation

That's normally the trigger for ADA compliance. Any good architect with experience in old buildings will know how far they can push the limits without being required to provide a lift.

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I believe if the renovation

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I believe if the renovation exceeds 40% of the buildings value (not land), it triggers getting everything up to current code including ADA

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There are separate

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There are separate requirements set by the state and the feds. For the state, requirements are triggered by a threshold of something like $100k of reno in 3 years.

Enforcement with the state is tighter because it's tied to permitting and occupancy licenses. For the feds, enforcement is done by ADA troll lawyers.

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Ciao Bella didn't, and

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Ciao Bella didn't, and because they couldn't afford to install an elevator for ADA compliance, they went out of business. Not saying this is good or bad, just saying.

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Why stairs?

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Why not just convert the stairs to a ramp?

Are non-wheelchair users unable to navigate a ramp?

7" stairs * 4 = 28" of rise = minimum of 28' of run for ADA fully compliant ramp. But you can go as tight as about 19' under the exceptions for existing buildings. I bet there's 19' to the sidewalk...maybe with 1 90 degree turn in it.

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Voting closed 11

It's not that easy. 28' of

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It's not that easy. 28' of ramp would never fit in front of a Newbury Street-type building. That's why 28 years after ADA, there are just about zero businesses on the street that have a ramp in front.

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Why don't they team up

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Every 5 buildings share one long ramp to a platform?

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Accessibility....

....wouldn’t just be a problem at the entrance would it? Restrooms would have to be accessible as well, which might complicate matters even further in an old building & constricted space.

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Voting closed 21