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'Domino's is the Wal-Mart of Pizza'

Community members speak against the pizza chain that would like to open on Main Street.

Visit Dominos.com and try to order a pizza in Charlestown, and the site will tell you that you can’t.

“We're sorry - we currently don't offer delivery service to the address you entered for online orders,” the site says.

That, said Rob Rivard—the man who would like to bring a Domino’s to —is why he wants to open a location in Charlestown.

Each Domino’s franchise, Rivard explained, has an online delivery map defined and controlled by Domino’s’ corporate headquarters. His franchise has asked for years to have its territory expanded to include Charlestown, but the company won’t do so, he said, unless he opens a location in town.

That corporate rule worried Mal Watlington, one of several residents who spoke against the proposed business at a public hearing Thursday night.

“You are looking at the Wal-Mart of pizza,” Watlington said, “be warned.”

Watlington cast aside assurances from consultant Bill Mohan that the franchise would be locally-controlled and give back to the community.

“In fact, you do not have local control,” Watlington said, pointing to the delivery issue.

The meeting drew approximately 40 members of the community, with a large group offering remarks critical of the plan.

Some worried about the store’s planned location, which they said would lead to double-parking.

Resident Dan Ryan, who declared his clear bias by pointing to his strong personal connections to other pizza restaurants present at the meeting, warned Rivard that national chains have a troubled history in Charlestown.

The block of Main Street where Rivard would like to open a Domino’s, Ryan noted, has seen the death of a Burger King, a McDonalds and a Friendly’s.

“Franchises, for whatever reason, they haven’t worked here,” Ryan said.

The council’s basic services committee did not have enough members present for a vote, but Charlestown Neighborhood Council Chairman Tom Cunha said that he would report the meeting’s discussion to the full council at its next meeting on June 5.

Bainbridge VanderMeer IV June 01, 2012 at 08:53 PM
While I admire Dan Ryan's quaint provincialism, he need only glance across the parking lot from where this Domino's would be located for proof that debunks his half-baked theory about chains failing in Charlestown. In that same mall, the 99 has thrived for decades. Then you've got Papa Gino's. And Dunkin Donuts.
Alison Silva June 01, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Does anyone have thoughts on a higher end clothing boutique? I've been living in Charlestown for a few years and noticed there are none and feel this is a deficit. I'm looking at real estate now. Does anyone know if there has ever been one? And I am totally against a Domino's and would not patronize the establishment.
Tony Giglio June 01, 2012 at 11:46 PM
We have Tony Anne's now we don't need dominos its a tight knit town there friends an family that need the buisness an really your lucky green cab goes in the projects at 3am that's say to many changes the town looks good like it is leave it alone.
Sean Boyle June 02, 2012 at 12:07 AM
If you go to the second floor of the Five & Ten Cents Bank there is a higher end clothing store.
Lisa McGoff Collins June 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM
my daughter use to order from Dominoes in Boston and they delivered all the time, and it was always after eleven. so when did this start!!
Lisa McGoff Collins June 02, 2012 at 02:27 AM
up to your same old "troubling" comments Seamus
Larry Fine June 02, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Curious why Dominos is the Walmart of pizza? If anybody was the Walmart of pizza I would think it would be the Upper Crust? Love the fact that everybody wants commercial activity but not Dominos? What if it was Pizzeria Regina? and isn't Dominos owned by some irish guy? Too funny.
Karen Catizone June 02, 2012 at 08:16 AM
I worked in that Mall for years and I can tell you that while yes, the 99 has done well, as well as Papa Gino's and Dunkin Donuts (but really, DD shouldn't count-of course DD would do well-where wouldn't it?), but over the years there have been countless other well known food chains that have failed in that same mall. Those who have failed are-McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and Friendly's just to name a few. I have never seen every single store space in the Bunker Hill Mall all rented out at the same time. Ever. There isn't a lot of choices for take out food in Charlestown-I will give you that-but the last place I want to come into Charlestown would be a Domino's. I'd rather eat cardboard-it tastes pretty much the same.....
Lisa McGoff Collins June 02, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Karen, Half the problem in the Mall is the rent, they charge so much money to rent there. So whoever owns the mall can pick and choose who they want to be in there, just as long as they can afford the rents!
PattyK June 02, 2012 at 11:57 AM
It wasn't about Dominoes not being able to deliver to Charlestown, because you can call mystic ave Medford and get it from there, it's about the staniford street boston owner unable to get the Charlestown business because of the traffic, and some corporate mapping program they have in place that does not include 02129, so they said they can't deliver here, but that's bull...
Charlestown joe June 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM
My understanding is about Dominos needs to have a 02129 zip to make deliveries! Easy solution change the map at corporate to include Charlestown from their two locations now, the one at Stanford St. Boston and Mystic Ave in Medford! We are right in the middle of both locations! I am sure one of them do and can make deliveries to Charlestown! But! The real problem lies in having a 02129 zip as we were told at the meeting so you can make your order thru the Internet. If that's the problem then use the phone instead, in case you didn't know your smartphone can be used as one, it isn't just for texting! And, I don't see any reason to be up at 3:00 in the am looking for a pizza delivery! Does anybody work?
TheMaskedTruthsayer June 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Only people working Downtown from C-Town are the sign-holders, all the professionals are up and on the 93 ramp by 7am.
BostonMaggie June 03, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Does anyone else want that space? If not, I don't think anyone should be objecting. It's an acceptable business. Let the market decide it's success. If it's cardboard that no one wants, then it presents no danger to other local pizza places.
diane grant June 04, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Mr. Bainbridge VanderMeer IV, you have the most fabulous of names. Sounds a little made up? And a very flowery Jane Austin way of writing. Fabulous. The 99, Papa Gino's and Dunkin Donuts have done very well in Charlestown. Remember, they are all local franchise beginnings. It was the large national chains such as McDonalds and Burger King that didn't do well. Thank you for your constructive input about our wonderful Charlestown.
Jay K. June 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Every community has the right to voice their opinion about what makes it, though not necessarily the power to act. By your rationale one should be mouth shut and head down for every payday lender and gun store that comes calling. You may want to live in such a neighborhood, but I don't. And it's our right to say so. I don't want Domino's. I want Toni Ann's.
Seamus O'Sullivan June 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Jay - actually you don't have the right to say no. Well, maybe on a blog or on a petition, but unfortunately all your bitching and moaning ain't stopping Dominos from coming to Main St. As BostonMaggie said, the market will decide whether or not Charlestown wants Dominos. If you're opposed to it (and other likeminded folk are as well), you'll vote with your dollars and Dominos will shut down. If it lasts, well, there was a market need for it and you're SOL. Unfortunately for you, the NIMBY attitude isn't going to suffice here.
Jay K. June 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Yes Seamus, I do have the right to say no. It's protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Like I said, every community has the right to voice their opinion, just not necessarily the power to act. So you apparently agree with me. You just have a really nasty way of saying so.
Michelle Lewis June 04, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Cardboard? No thanks!
Joseph June 04, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Seamus, if our voices don't have any sort of weight, then why does the CNC hold these meetings asking for our input?
02129resident June 04, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I heard a rumor that several other would-be restaurant owners (non-chains) had in fact tried to contact that landlord, but got no response. There are dozens of other options that would be better than a Domino's for that spot. We have plenty of great local pizza. Hope Domino's gets the message and goes away - and I hope the landlord considers opening the space up to other tenants.
Christina June 05, 2012 at 02:31 AM
I was so confused about this I ordered Domino's delivery from the Staniford St. location last night... no problem. Took just about 30 mins.
Owen June 05, 2012 at 02:56 AM
I was waiting for someone to say "higher end...". I think that is at the heart of this issue. Charlestown is great, but there is definitely a..*ahem*..."snooty" element. FIne. Whatever. But I feel like is someone said that a high end anything was going into that vacant space in the Mall, then this back and forth argument wouldn't be happening. It's the prospect of something "lower class" that I think irks some people.
Owen June 05, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Without puncuation, your post is unreadable.
Kim June 05, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Is Domino's the one you can get Strippers and Crack from or is that Pizza hut??? ... I always get them confused!!!
mplo June 07, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Ick! Domino's Pizza's horrible! I ate there once and never ate there again. It's not necessary to have so many of them around.
Matt Hauber July 13, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Dan, I wasn't in town at the time missed the demise of Burger King and McDonald's, but it was likely the lack of space, volume or a drive-thru that did them in. I do know this - the Charlestown Friendly's went out of business because it was a dirty, poorly managed restaurant with inconsistent (at best) food and service. 'm not a fan of Domino's Pizza myself, but if someone wants to make an investment in town, hire people and provide a service that any number of residents want why does anyone else care? It's not going to affect them in any way, shape or form.
Charlestown joe July 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Yes and let's not forget the others McDonald's-gone Burger king- gone Kentucky fried chicken-gone Friendly's- gone Mattress disconters- gone Radio shack- gone I do believe that these are all chain stores! But maybe I am wrong! But maybe I am wrong as usual!
Charlestown joe July 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Matt We are a square mile, 6 pizza places, 4nail salons, 6 dry cleaners, 2dog washes, pray tell why do we need a mid-night pizza delivery? Most people are sleeping at that hour. And believe me I lived here when Main St was a thriving business street! Complete with: 3 furniture stores 3 clothing stores 2 hardware stores 2 pool halls 2 dentists Laundermat Fire station At least four variety stores 2 super markets a A&P and a First National A fish store A vegetable store Numerous Bar Rooms and taverns And at the location that dominos wants to occupy was a liquor store, a ice cream parlor There were also meat markets A five and dime A electronics store A theater At least four men's barber shops Two shoe repair shops A Morgan memorial good will store Two lunch shops in Thompson Sq. I probably could go on and on..... My point is there was more than one type of store on Main St now all we want is late night PIZZA ! And not a good one either! I guess we have just ran out original idea's Maybe we can open another pizza place in Sullivan Sq at the old Celtic tavern and be able to sit down and enjoy it.
Karen Catizone February 14, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Lisa-I honest to God was just gonna post that. What a lot of people don't realize is that not only is the rent there outrageously high-when I worked at CVS, my boss told me that on top of the rent-that each store has to pay a percentage of what they make to the owner of the Mall as well. Imagine????
Karen Catizone February 14, 2013 at 02:32 AM
So to add to what I just said-that is more than likely why it' we never see a "Mom and Pop" type business at the Mall. What small business could survive paying the outrageous rent they charge PLUS having to give the owners a percentage of their yearly earnings to boot!

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