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Starbucks seeks to appeal city’s rejection of license for Southie shop

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A proposal to bring a Starbucks to the corner of L Street and East Broadway was unanimously rejected by Boston’s licensing board.
A proposal to bring a Starbucks to the corner of L Street and East Broadway was unanimously rejected by Boston’s licensing board.

The Southie Starbucks showdown isn't over yet.

The Seattle-based coffee shop giant has asked the city's licensing board to reconsider its denial this month of a permit needed to operate a proposed store at 749 East Broadway. The company, according to a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh's office, wants the board to hold another hearing after the company meets with residents to address their concerns.

The licensing board, the spokeswoman said, has voted to allow the motion for another hearing but hasn't set a date.

The new Starbucks has become a divisive issue in South Boston. A number of long-time residents and owners of nearby stores are worried that the arrival of another big chain such as Starbucks could harm the East Side neighborhood's character and hurt locally owned coffee shops and breakfast places. Critics also said they're concerned about traffic at an already-busy corner, the intersection of L Street and East Broadway.

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But other residents would welcome Starbucks and don't think city officials should deny the permit just because the applicant is a chain that could hurt local businesses.

Earlier this month, Walsh's office said it was opposed to Starbucks' application for what's known as a common victualler license, citing concerns raised by neighbors. Two days later the city's licensing board denied the license request.

A Starbucks spokeswoman issued a statement saying the company continues to have an open dialogue with community members and city officials to address any concerns and to "offer a better understanding [of] the experience we can provide."

She said that in addition to Starbucks' stores serving as a gathering place, its employees are active members of the community through "volunteerism and other work."


Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.