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Old 11-25-2017, 08:59 AM
 
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ABP seems to have been downsizing for some time.

Au Bon Pain closed their location on Thayer Street by Brown in Providence a few months ago. They still have three Providence locations at the Bank of America Bldng downtown and at RI Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital.
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bob Lanata View Post
Always loved playing chess on those tables outside the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square. Does anyone know if they are still there?
The chess tables were the topic of much discussion during the planning meetings for the Smith Center. They have been temporarily relocated immediately adjacent to the Harvard Square T-stop near the Out of Town News kiosk. Plans had called for reestablishing the tables in the plaza by the Smith Center when it reopens. However I’m not certain where that ended up. With all the changes for the worse in HSQ, if the chess tables went away, it would be a symbolic death knell.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
It's definitely not just a Boston thing, but it's been fairly noticeable over the past few years in central Boston. The national trend is a big part of it, but it's also a rent/competition thing. Traditional fast food places will continue to thrive in places where there isn't much competition.

I wouldn't say that chains don't work at all here. National chains like Chipotle and Starbucks have done really well here. Some smaller, newer chains like Pokeworks are being met with open arms in the Boston area. It's not THAT new, but Shake Shack is killing it in the Boston area. So there are definitely newer chains that are successful. And for as much flack as Chic-Fil-A got when they attempted to move here before (coincidentally, they were looking at the Panera space, formerly Purple Shamrock, near Union Oyster House too), they've done really well in the 'burbs and will eventually quietly locate in Boston and be successful.

But Boston is a tougher city for chains (remember when Krispy Kreme tried to come into Boston in a big way?). There's a balance of chain vs. local everywhere, but Boston leans far more toward the local end than most cities in the country.
Chic-Fil-A makes more money per store then any other chain fast food place, and they aren't even open on Sundays. It is almost always busy. I never understood Chipotle, other then people thought it was healthy. Nothing like eating a 1,200 calorie burrito but people think it is healthy cause they say it is "fresh". The food isn't even that good. The munchkins were decent at DD, but the rest of their food is terrible. I'm not a coffee person, so can't comment there. Been to Shake Shack and they are overpriced and average burgers. Living in Dallas we have tons of places that are better.

Back to the original post about Panera bread, I'm surprised they are still in business. I haven't eaten there in forever and don't know anyone who does. Pre-made sandwiches that are below average. I guess people think the free Wifi is cool or something. The service has never been great there either.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:14 AM
 
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Thank you Porterhouse for that info. Hope they get put up again, they were a great social venue for me at one time
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LeavingMA View Post
Chic-Fil-A makes more money per store then any other chain fast food place, and they aren't even open on Sundays. It is almost always busy. I never understood Chipotle, other then people thought it was healthy. Nothing like eating a 1,200 calorie burrito but people think it is healthy cause they say it is "fresh". The food isn't even that good. The munchkins were decent at DD, but the rest of their food is terrible. I'm not a coffee person, so can't comment there. Been to Shake Shack and they are overpriced and average burgers. Living in Dallas we have tons of places that are better.
I don't know why you keep beating this to death. Every Chipotle location I have been to (like Chic-fil-a), is a gold mine. They are never not busy, and still expanding like crazy. Your whole point about the "1200 calorie" burrito was shown to be false on another thread. They are by far and away the best of the major fast food chains, and are relatively healthy as well. If you rely solely on the calorie count, you clearly have zero understand of nutrition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeavingMA View Post
Back to the original post about Panera bread, I'm surprised they are still in business. I haven't eaten there in forever and don't know anyone who does. Pre-made sandwiches that are below average. I guess people think the free Wifi is cool or something. The service has never been great there either.
What are you talking about? Their sandwiches have always been made to order. I'm not a fan of them just because I don't like the way they prepare their food (I'll take an old school Italian deli any day), but quality wise they are not bad and I admit the bread is very good. Overpriced, definitely.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Panera's sliced turkey is slimey. If I have to go there, I won't eat their meat. The cookies are good, though.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
The Panera in Arlington Heights closed a few years ago. I found it puzzling because it was one of the first Panera locations in Greater Boston and it seemed to fit in a small downtown center like Arlington Heights.
I also find it odd that a town like Arlington, with its obvious laptop worker crowd, doesn't have a decent coffee place. Even the 'Bucks are substandard compared to ones in other areas.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,338 posts, read 15,309,608 times
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Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
I also find it odd that a town like Arlington, with its obvious laptop worker crowd, doesn't have a decent coffee place. Even the 'Bucks are substandard compared to ones in other areas.
I like Barismo. Nine Bar is pretty good too. Arlington isn't completely convenient for me, so I haven't tried others, but I feel like there are a bunch of good coffee places and cafes in town.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post
I don't know why you keep beating this to death. Every Chipotle location I have been to (like Chic-fil-a), is a gold mine. They are never not busy, and still expanding like crazy. Your whole point about the "1200 calorie" burrito was shown to be false on another thread. They are by far and away the best of the major fast food chains, and are relatively healthy as well. If you rely solely on the calorie count, you clearly have zero understand of nutrition.



What are you talking about? Their sandwiches have always been made to order. I'm not a fan of them just because I don't like the way they prepare their food (I'll take an old school Italian deli any day), but quality wise they are not bad and I admit the bread is very good. Overpriced, definitely.
"Relatively healthy" just keep telling yourself that. Most of the reason their burritos and others aren't healthy is because of the size. The main issue was that Chipotle was basically giving people the impression they were healthy because they were "fresh", which also doesn't mean health.

I have a good grasp of nutrition and realize than anyone who thinks eating out at these places is "healthy" is misinformed. Yes, I understand some calories are better then others, but again most of these places making people thinking they are eating healthy really aren't that healthy. Most of the Chipotles around me are pretty dead now and have been for the last few years; but that might be because of too much competition in the Dallas market.

Expanding doesn't mean anything. Starbucks did the same thing and expanded too much and actually had to close hundreds of stores.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Chipotle burritos aren't healthy, nobody needs that many carbs (giant tortilla and rice). Getting a bowl is better, but you're still ingesting massive amounts of sodium.

As with all fast food, occasionally stopping by Chipotle is not going to kill you. Moderate/occasional fast food is something your body can handle. But it's absolutely not "healthy", ie the basis for a good diet.
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