Hey, there! Log in / Register

Great Scott landlord wastes no time trying to rent out space to a restaurant or market

If you have more money than you know what to do with in the middle of a pandemic, and you relish the idea of hundreds of people hating you for helping to end a cherished Allston institution, you, too, can rent the space at Commonwealth and Harvard avenues where Great Scott used to be - just maybe not for a rock club:

Former bar and rock club for lease. Owner prefers a restaurant or a market. 1st floor and basement included. Don't miss this opportunity to take over a Boston Landmark. This corner is one of the busiest intersections in all of Massachusetts. B-line T stop is right across the street. Everything included- Heat, water, trash and tax.

A couple issues there. The spot's landmark status went away when Great Scott got kicked out and everything is NOT included: In addition to the $20,000 a month landlord Oak Hill Properties wants, you'd also have to cough up $400,000 or so for a liquor license, because the one that Great Scott had is in the name of Great Scott owner Frank Strenk, not Oak Hill.

That might not be an issue for a market, whose prospective owner would probably still want to look into why that area is death to markets (see Bfresh and Bee's Knees), but it could be a concern for a restaurant operator.

Via Victoria. H/t Ian.

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

The cost of a liquor license is about to drop big time as many restaurants don't come back. Normally I'd be happy for the prices to drop but this isn't a reason worth celebrating.

Great Scott aside, this crisis is a good opportunity for MA to change the stupid system once and for all. (Which they won't, but at least people can't argue the state needs to protect their investment when it's dropped like a rock anyway.)

up
Voting closed 46

The liquor license holders should get exactly as much protection as the taxi medallion holders got.

up
Voting closed 47

Not disagreeing, although I feel very sorry for restaurant owners who have suddenly lost everything through no fault of their own.

Taxis had horrible service for decades and only existed because they had a monopoly with no alternatives. Even with a liquor license, restaurants still needed to show some effort.

But the idea of "owning" and selling a license is idiotic. Change it now while the licenses aren't worth as much anyway.

up
Voting closed 66

If a ton of places close because of this maybe it will get both the state and the city to get off their asses and fix the entire licensing process so that we can have a lot more small owner operated neighborhood restaurants without them needing the backing of venture capitalists.

up
Voting closed 33

Of Donna Summer practicing there 1976 before going to Lucifers for 5.00 entry fee with 1st drink free.
Kens on the other corner had the best Harvey Walbangers for 1.75.

up
Voting closed 47

Thanks for that audio and visual. Way before my time, but man, those sound like awesome memories. Thanks for sharing

up
Voting closed 8

They refused to soundproof the place and refused a long term lease offer and chose to close, apparently they have not had a lease for a few years and were just month to month tenants.

up
Voting closed 21

Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good headline.

up
Voting closed 31

The owner of Great Scott also is the landlord of a building further up Harvard Ave (no doubt worth many millions) and owns another bar there. Just another business decision (like Doyle’s) recast as a gentrification tragedy.

up
Voting closed 11

Just curious.

up
Voting closed 2

Let me take a guess: The landlord wanted them to spend a ton of money on improvements that offered little benefit to Great Scott. The landlord wouldn't chip in for this expense. The landlord also wouldn't sign a long-term lease or only would at a high rent or other impossible stipulations.

This is a pretty common story.

up
Voting closed 51

up
Voting closed 9

Nothing about that article refutes my theory that the landlord was asking for too much to make signing a long term lease a feasible decision. In fact, the first paragraph explicitly says what I had assumed in regards to being told they needed to make substantial changes as part of their lease renewal.

Given that the landlord is expressly rejecting nightclubs as possible tenants, it's clear they wanted Great Scott gone. So yes, the Pandemic might be the reason they are closing now but the landlord was happy to exploit their misfortune to give them no choice but to close.

up
Voting closed 43

The owner of Great Scott is rich, and a commercial landlord. Please stop shedding tears for him. He could have kicked in more money but decided not to. Two business guys had a negotiation and did not reach an agreement.

up
Voting closed 12

Two rich dudes duke it out. The general public -- particularly musicians -- loose either way.

up
Voting closed 17

I remember when Bella Luna/Milky Way left their old spot in JP. That place next to Whole Foods (formerly Hi Lo) has been vacant on and off ever since.

Same with the former Latina Coco's (later The Gate Irish bar spot) on Washington in JP. Still vacant after couple years . They used to serve lamb burgers and shepherd's pie. Some of these landlord are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

up
Voting closed 26

Coco's owner owned the building.

See: Doyles.

up
Voting closed 0

Bfresh and Bee Knees were usually always crowded with customers I'm going to go out on a limb and say that rent is just too goddam high. there is no future in the boomer quarterly profit bullshit consumer economy. People consumed Bfresh and Bees Knees with great regularity like any neighborhood would.

up
Voting closed 16

We have the last remaining one here in Davis Square, and I sure hope it stays open, because it is a huge convenience to this neighborhood and a lot of us depend on it. Having it here keeps us out of long lines at more crowded grocers such as the Somerville Market Basket.

I wonder what the rent was in Allston that Stop & Shop couldn't afford to remain there.

up
Voting closed 6

Huh? You telling me my store is closing? You know something I don't?

up
Voting closed 4

It's a reference to the fact that Stop 'n' Shop owns Bfresh.

up
Voting closed 2

and the Allston bfresh, which was the original one, closed several months ago. So did the Brighton bfresh.

Your Stop & Shop off Everett Street (which I would call Brighton rather than Allston) should be safe.

up
Voting closed 2

Go claim your "Schooling Will LaTulippe" badge.

up
Voting closed 4

Who moves to Allston expecting the quiet of the burbs? Who moves next to a rock n roll club, that’s been there for decades , and expects quiet ???
These dumb ass yuppies should take a long walk

up
Voting closed 21

I think the "noise complaints" are as true as the "virus will disappear, like a miracle." The landlord can say or do anything they want, neighborhood be damned.

up
Voting closed 1

"Don't miss this opportunity to take over a Boston Landmark"? What a totally weird bit of marketing.

up
Voting closed 13

You could put pretty much anything there (well, except maybe another rock club) and people are going to walk by glaring at it for years saying "that's where Great Scott used to be".

up
Voting closed 11

The next chance I get, I plan on salting the earth there so nothing else grows. I will forever send negative vibrations toward them. Allston is one of the last unique neighborhoods in Boston and it is slowly being homogenized. I've lived in that area for all of my 31 years in Boston and loved the feel and atmosphere. It was a tiny nugget of noise and trash that felt like no other place in town. The real Kenmore is long gone, Harvard Square is a mall ( with the exception of the stellar Sinclair). Lovers of personable, small music venues and the music they attract are feeling like it matters less and less to those who control the rents; no pride in tenant diversity, just give me the money.

up
Voting closed 13

I'd open a rock club along the lines of Great Scott. As long as I could simply break even most years, that would be OK. I'd be doing something that I love and providing a public service by supporting live music.

up
Voting closed 3