Domino’s seeking JP space

February 6, 2009
By

Domino’s Pizza, the corporate chain pizza business, is seeking a Centre Street location for a new shop, the Gazette has learned.

A Domino’s representative last month expressed interest in the former Petal & Leaf Florist location at 467 Centre St. next to CVS Pharmacy, according to Colleen Keller, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Coordinator from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

The Domino’s representative also was interested in the 654 Centre St. spot where Sami’s Falafel will open, according to landlord Mike Pavone, who said he gave Domino’s a firm “no.” [See related brief.]

It is unclear whether the representative was from the main Domino’s corporation or is an independent franchisee. Keller and Pavone could not recall his name. The Domino’s and CVS corporations did not respond to Gazette e-mails for this article.

Domino’s is one of several corporate chains to make failed attempts to move into JP, only to encounter strong community opposition. In 2004, neighbors killed a proposal for a Domino’s on Washington Street in Forest Hills.

“If you think you’ll get a permit here, think again,” Pavone said he told the Domino’s representative. “I’ll tell you right now, it is not happening.”

“I would not let any pizza shop here [in his building]. We don’t need any more [on Centre Street],” added Pavone, who runs Classic Cleaners next door. Local independent pizza shops in the immediate area include JP House of Pizza and Same Old Place.

Keller said she informed the Domino’s representative of the various neighborhood associations and busi-ness organizations he would have to meet with to move any proposal forward—at least five of them. He has not been heard from since, she said.

The 467 Centre space became vacant last year when Petal & Leaf moved to South Street. That entire build-ing was once an independent grocery store that closed in the wake of Stop & Shop opening in Jackson Square in the 1980s. In 1998, a Dunkin’ Donuts was proposed for the smaller storefront, but that plan was killed by Jamaica Pond Association opposition. Petal & Leaf opened there instead.

In 1993, the Papa Gino’s pizza chain attempted to move in to the 730 Centre St. building where JP Seafood Café and the Real Deal deli are now. The chain was driven away by threats of community boycotts and picket lines.

In 2006, the D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches chain—owned by the same company as Papa Gino’s—announced inter-est in 682 Centre St. before community outcry scared it away. The JP-based store City Feed and Supply opened there instead.

The Domino’s representative had heard about the D’Angelo controversy, Pavone said.

John Ruch and Sandra Storey

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