Despite opposition from some residents who wanted to keep the international chain out of JP — but with strong support from others — the city’s Licensing Board approved Caffè Nero‘s permit to serve food. This means the European-style coffee house has cleared all the red tape it needs before opening across from Blanchards.
The Licensing Board granted the “common victualers” license on Thursday after delaying its decision to hear from a committee of the JP Neighborhood Council.
“We’re very excited about becoming a part of the community,” said Jay Gentile, director of U.S. operations for the coffee house, in a Monday phone conversation.
The news will delight some residents and disappoint others.
Gentile had previously told Jamaica Plain News the coffee house at 733 Centre St. could open before the holidays if all goes smoothly. A million-dollar renovation is underway at the former Commonwealth Bank space. The new cafe will have 61 seats indoors and 11 on the Centre Street sidewalk.
The privately-held chain runs more than 650 coffee houses in seven countries. The JP location will be the second in the United States. If you’d like a preview of the JP location, stop by their first location across from the Paramount Theatre at Downtown Crossing. Or see our file story and photos.
The coffee house verbally agreed to several items in a “Good Community Business Agreement” with the JP Neighborhood Council. Among them is giving preference to hiring JP residents. Gentile said information would be posted in the window at the 733 Centre St. location about how to apply for the estimated 15-20 jobs that will be generated.
Here’s a gallery drawn from our coverage so far, including what the Downtown Crossing Caffè Nero looks like and plans for the JP location.
Chris Helms permalink
Caffè Nero, 560 Washington St., on June 20, 2014.