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An outreach campaign at International Place

For Don Chiofaro, his breakfast meetings probably won’t change even with another restaurant with street presence at International Place in Boston. Chris Morris for The Boston Globe

International Place keeps turning itself inside out.

After adding the Palm steak house in 2013 and Kane’s Donuts earlier this year, the Chiofaro Co. is marketing a third street-oriented restaurant space in the lobby of its downtown tower.

Together, they mark a big change for International Place, where amenities had long been designed around an internal atrium and targeted mainly at the roughly 7,500 workers upstairs. But given the building’s location on a hot corner of the Financial District along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Chiofaro Co. now says the aim is to draw more outside customers.

The building has added a gym, Republic Fitness, along High Street and new, more inviting, signs. It is marketing kiosk spots inside the atrium, too. But the biggest draw would be a restaurant that, like the Palm, would face out onto the Greenway, with outdoor seating.


It’s the sort of thing that could not be done when International Place was first built, and not just because 1980s vintage office towers didn’t tend to be designed with street life in mind. The spot where the restaurant would go was dominated by ramps from the Central Artery, with a decidedly more grim view than it has today.

“There is no more ‘back’ of International Place,” said Don Chiofaro Jr., the company’s director of leasing.

It’s unclear what this new restaurant might serve; Chiofaro said he doesn’t have a tenant lined up. He’s aiming for a destination-type place, but one that won’t compete directly with the Palm.

As for the building’s patriarch, Don Chiofaro the elder, it’s a safe bet that he’ll dine there, while also still taking breakfast meetings in the building’s old-school atrium, just as he’s done for years. Some things about International Place don’t change. — TIM LOGAN

Real estate lessons, even without the Olympics Debra Blair had booked a conference room at the Mandarin Oriental in the Back Bay. She had set the date. She even had some speakers lined up and the topic set: The impact of the 2024 Olympics on the Boston residential real-estate market.

Then in late July, Boston’s plans for the Olympics evaporated. The Boston 2024 bidding group and the United States Olympic Committee jointly decided to scrap the city’s controversial proposal.


Blair, the president of LINK, a real-estate tracking firm, did what any competitive athlete would do in the face of a loss — she kept going but tweaked her game.

Blair is still hosting the event for downtown real-estate brokers on Sept. 22. But the focus will instead be on planning issues highlighted by the Olympic bid effort.

The city, she said, still needs to have a conversation about infrastructure and neighborhood development planning, even without the Olympic bid.

The event is shaping up to be a reunion of sorts for some of the Boston 2024 team members. Boston architect David Manfredi, the public face of the Olympic planning effort, as well as James Tierney, of Jones Lang LaSalle, who helped develop the financial plan for the bid, will be on the panel.

Even without the Olympics, “maybe we’re winning,” Blair said. “Maybe we don’t know we’re winning.” — DEIRDRE FERNANDES

U turn for UFood Grill

It seemed like a sure recipe for success: a chain focusing on healthful fast food, just as the “fast casual” trend was taking off, led by one of the area’s franchising visionaries, a guy responsible for making Boston Chicken a national brand.

But George Naddaff never seemed to get much traction for UFood Grill, and the company, based in Newton at the time, slumped into bankruptcy in late 2012. All of UFood’s stand-alone stores eventually closed, leaving just 15 smaller locations spread among airports, schools, and Air Force bases across the country.


UFood’s potential hasn’t gone away. Certainly the appetite for healthful fast food may be stronger than ever.

That’s why Sal Rincione is determined to revive UFood’s fortunes. Since joining the company as chief executive in March, he’s been busy assembling his management team at the new headquarters in Burlington — the group consists of some old UFood execs and some new — along with revamping the menu and look of the stores.

The goal is to cook up a concept that can be easily sold to franchisees and in turn drive millennials through the doors. UFood is looking to open one corporate store, probably in Boston or Cambridge. But its expansion — Rincione wants to see 100 stores open in the next four years — will rely on the capital of other entrepreneurs.

“We have done so much in 90 days,” said Rincione, who said he helped open some 400 Red Mango locations as an executive with that yogurt shop chain. “We have a completely rolled out a new [UFood] prototype. We have a brand new equipment package. We’ve lessoned the development costs.”

UFood has more flexibility by staying privately held, for now, and not publicly traded like it was under Naddaff. Other improvements: a growth strategy that’s geographically focused on the East Coast and a streamlined food prep system to improve order turnaround times.

As far as the menu goes, Rincione replaced the bison burgers with grass-fed Angus beef, took pork off the menu, and made the salad bowls more customizable. At least the “UnFries” – they’re baked, not fried – haven’t changed.


“All of these billion-dollar companies are scrambling to change their menus to healthier options [but] we already have that,” Rincione said. — JON CHESTO

Gottlieb joins the Kyruus Inc. board

Dr. Gary Gottlieb’s office is in Boston, but you might not know it from his passport.

Gottlieb has spent the last several months traveling to Haiti, Rwanda, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Liberia — countries where the nonprofit organization he now leads, Partners in Health, provides care to the poor.

Gottlieb, a psychiatrist, became chief executive of Partners in Health earlier this year, after about five years leading Partners HealthCare , the Boston-based hospital network. His responsibilities now include tasks such as rebuilding health systems in Africa after last year’s Ebola crisis.

But Gottlieb still has reasons to pop by the city. Partners in Health is based in Boston and so is Kyruus Inc. , a medical software company that last week named Gottlieb to its board.

He said he was drawn to the company’s vision for improving health care.

“This team is developing solutions to more effectively connect patients with the right doctors to provide the right care and to do so swiftly and effectively,” Gottlieb said by e-mail. “At the end of the day, this is a pathway to making health systems more patient-centered. I think you’ve heard me tell you how important I believe that is before!”


Gottlieb is also on board at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.


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