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Visions for Vacancy: A Former Ice Cream Shop

What would you like to see in the space formerly occupied by Friendly's?

The bay at 5 Austin Street that once housed a Friendly's is just as cold as the ice cream once served there—but something could return soon.

A representative for New England Development told Charlestown Patch this week that the company is currently in lease negotiations with a potential new tenant.

Who that tenant is, the company wouldn't say.

Who would you like it to be? The 4,500 square foot space seems to still house ice cream shop amenities. 

Readers responding to earlier Visions for Vacancy articles were excited by the idea of another ice cream shop. Would you like to see one here? Perhaps you'd prefer a restaurant? Perhaps a gym?

Share your vision with your neighbors by posting in the comments below.

Jason Shea March 09, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I am not being nasty just dont want to hear about Panera anymore. There are plenty of restaurants in c-town. Again how about an arcade!
Lisa Schievink March 09, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I don't know if the space is big enough to hold an arcade. I think it would be great if it gave the younger kids/ children a place to go. Penny candy was a good suggestion too.
Mary Doherty March 09, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Panera!!!
Jason Shea March 09, 2012 at 08:28 PM
How about a topless barber shop for the men of c-town Jason Shea
AAAM March 09, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Jimmy the barber topless? I think I'll take a pass on that one.
James Connolly March 10, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Panera Bread
K Nick March 10, 2012 at 02:50 PM
panera is ok ... Being new to CTown I think a bakery that also sells things that a cook could use .... Like rubs and marinades .. Cooking oils ... Vinagars .... Kitchen sundries ..
Anne March 11, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Okay I would like a bakery because I think the people of C-town need one!! I would like a place that has Breakfast I miss going out for breakfast with the family on weekends!! Some may not want a Panera but It has both. I'm open for an alternative, I just want a good Pancake, Fresh Pastries, and Ice cream would be nice. I'm sorry but arcade what are we 11. Save your money and buy a Kinect Box. I love the OLD townies I grew up here! They are what makes this town, Just like every other towns older population. Lets be proud of them! Just a reminder some day It will be you hanging out of DD. lets stay on the topic!! What do we need?
Judy Cleveland-Young March 11, 2012 at 05:04 AM
I have it on good authority that my dog will love the new place going in there.
Judy Cleveland-Young March 13, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I not a vet. I said my dog would like it, my dog doesn't like the vet. lol
Elizabeth March 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM
We need more food options in Charlestown. I hope it is something that will be able to survive in the mall.
Joseph March 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
What I find interesting is the amount of turnover this mall has. One could surmise that the that rent is too damn high and the owners of this mall don't really care whether these places are vacant or not. Either pay up or you can't occupy this space. It's absolutely their right to charge as much as they want, but wouldn't a constant flow of income be a better option than months of no rent? I've always been confused by this business decision. I think there's more to this than meets the eye. Something smells fishy.
Judy Cleveland-Young March 14, 2012 at 01:21 AM
A Petco is going in there. The plans have already been sent out for bidding. My dogs will be happy like I said. I hope it does well then it wont cost me an arm and a leg to buy dog food down at Johnnies. I'll get a bigger bag of dog food at a better price then Johnnies, and treats too. So that is what is moving into the Friendlys space.
Michelle March 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Judy - You can come down to Durty Harry's in the meantime, we price against Petco, carry most of the same foods and some really fun treats! I had actually looked into opening Durty Harry's in the mall as well and they stated that they didn't lease to animal businesses. I'm thinking Petco has more money than Durty Harry's though!!
Joseph March 15, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Michelle - Good of you to respond! Just curious, would you mind sharing what the owners of this building are charging per sq ft?
Michelle March 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Hey Joseph, frankly, the conversation never even got that far. I've called twice and both times, once I told them my desired use, they firmly stated they didn't lease to animal businesses. Options are always great and what Durty Harry's offers that Petco never will is the community involvement, the countless charities and Charlestown organizations we donate to, the parties we throw, not to mention "Ruff Week Friday's! " and the personnalized service we pride ourselves on. Sorry I couldn't be of more help with cold hard numbers!
Joseph March 15, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Thank you Michelle! It would be interesting to know what kind of tenant they are looking for. Given the tenant history, they must be looking for big chain stores or franchises and not local businesses. It must be nice to be able to pick and choose your tenants while space remains vacant. Dang...I'm in the wrong business.
Matt M. Casey (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Judy, How did you get this information? The property owner wouldn't talk specifics, and PetCo corporate was not in the least bit helpful.
Bette Task March 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM
The Grasshopper Cafe on Bunker Hill serves breakfast all day and it's very good.
Bette Task March 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM
We already have an ice cream store in City Square! And if the ice cream truck gets to stay, we have that! Don't think we can support a third option.
Sean Boyle March 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I really hope it isn't a petco .. that's the last thing we need.
Suzanne Livingston March 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Ugh...Petco? We don't need another pet store - we have what we need with Durty's. I am loving that Panera idea.
Seamus O'Sullivan March 16, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I can almost guarantee you all that a Petco is not going in there. Their stores average 12,000-15,000 square feet. They aren't going to take a a 60%+ size discount to go into a small community that can barely support it where there is already a first mover in Durty Harry's.
Seamus O'Sullivan March 16, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I stand corrected: http://unleashedby.petco.com/
Michelle March 16, 2012 at 07:37 PM
That's exactly the division of Petco I would have assumed would take over a space of that size. There's one about 3 blocks down from our Brookline location, we're just a little different, that's all. They don't offer bathing or grooming services, or free food delivery, etc. Ahhh, a competitive marketplace is a good thing! Seamus, I just went to that link but didn't see anything about "coming soon" or anything for a Charlestown location, did you see a press release of any type or any mention that I perhaps missed?
Seamus O'Sullivan March 16, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Michelle, there was no news (at least from what I could tell) of the opening on the site. I was more pointing out the Unleashed small-box concept, which I was completely unaware of. I like your attitude!
Mum22 March 16, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Michelle, I noticed your building is for sale. Are you staying in Charlestown? I hope you're just moving to a new location in town and not leaving all together!
Michelle March 16, 2012 at 08:56 PM
We're not going anywhere! We'll be here, and the building is under agreement ;-)
Me AM April 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Old fashioned dinner... I mean the counter, stools, and booths are already there
Julie Caldarone May 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
How about a local business instead of another chain store? Doesn't matter what - I'm just tired of the big box stores. I like local ownership.

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