Is Allston ready for McDonald's that open at 5 a.m.? Possibly not

The owner of McDonald's franchises at Harvard and Comm Ave. and on Western Avenue wants to start opening his outlets at 5 a.m. - and to extend the Western Ave. closing time to 3 a.m. He says he's already taken steps to deal with an increasing problem with methadone patients hanging out at the Harvard Ave. location.

At a Boston Licensing Board hearing today, the Allston Civic Association opposed the hour extensions. Association President Paul Berkeley said that with some outlets seeking later hours at night and others seeking earlier hours in the morning, members are "fearful we're just going to become a 24-hour community."

The mayor's office says it could live with a 6 a.m. opening time - and 1 a.m. closing for Western Avenue - but added they would prefer to see no action on Western Avenue until after residents move into the new Charlesview complex next door and give their opinions.

The board decides tomorrow what to do.

Bob King, who owns the two franchises, says he already has people knocking on the doors of both places seeking coffee and breakfast items before they open at 7 a.m. He said 5 a.m. on Harvard Avenue would serve people waiting for the first trolley of the day - which board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer noted leaves BC at 5:01 a.m. - while the earlier hours on Western Avenue would help local residents driving off to their jobs, especially now that McDonald's has become better known for its coffee, rather than just for its breakfast items.

King and his attorney, Joshua Krefetz, acknowledged growing complaints about methadone patients from the Brighton Marine Health Center congregating in the Harvard Avenue McDonald's, but said they can't just broom them because they're not actually breaking any laws. Board member Milton Wright, a retired district-court judge, agreed and added the real answer is to give the patients a center where they could safely hang out between the time they are given their methadone and the time they have to report back for counseling.

Still, King said he has worked with the health center on a new policy under which any patients who do cause trouble at the restaurant would be booted from treatment. He said the center did just that for two patients who did get into a fight inside the McDonald's a few weeks ago and that word has gotten out among local methadone users.

Krefetz added he doubts methadone patients would start crowding the McDonald's at 5 a.m. "Nobody is getting up at 5 a.m. to get high and go to McDonald's," he said. "They'd rather sleep."

Board member Suzanne Ianella questioned the need to open that McDonald's at 5 a.m., saying a neighboring Tedeschis may already sell an Egg McMuffin-like breakfast substance at that hour.

"I don't know, but I wouldn't eat it," Krefetz retorted.



Free tagging: 


Really, Ianella?

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Wow. That's about the antithesis of free market I've ever heard.

"We already have *a* place that sells X. Why should we let you do it too?"

What in the flying hell is THAT as a legal argument?? Why isn't this board more of a legal body? One that has to uphold rules on its decisions and not just arbitrarily pick and choose who is open and who isn't??


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Why on earth is the owner of the McDonald's responsible for the behavior of the methadone patients from a clinic a mile up the road? Shouldn't that be the methadone clinic and the police's job?

Horrible People

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I can say those same said patients hanging out at McDonald's also ruin the area at Comm and Warren while awaiting their fix. Each one is trashier than the next and even if they were not addicts they would ruin whatever place they loiter in. I recall similar issues on Canal Street downtown with another clinic there.

Methadone is a scam and such clinics need to be shut down.
Sorry to not be sympathetic but it's really the low quality of the people at said methadone clinic that bothers me even more than the piss poor method of replacing one addiction with another. The people (at this specific clinic) are no more functional now than they were when shooting up.

Sufficient answer

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Then the sufficient answer is the public want food at 5 AM.

"The public need" should not be used as a weapon against good intention. Besides, based on "public need", we should have a much larger variety of 24-hr dining options....but we don't. They are using that phrase to require you to fit THEIR definition of what they think the public need. The public should be the ones deciding their own needs. However, the board is about as removed from the public as possible.

Which is basically what they answered

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Leading to the revelation that the chairwoman of the Boston Licensing Board knows to the minute the time the first trolley leaves BC, which is kind of impressive.


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can she guarantee that’s always the case?


I say we switch it up and put these folks in charge of the MBTA. Maybe their attention to detail and unreasonableness can light a match under it and get the trains running on time.

Take it one step further

I propose we run the trains on metric time! 20 hour days! 10:00 is "noon"! And then we force the sun to rise at 5:00 and set at 15:00! Or else!

10s all the way down

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Why not just make it all metric, but expand the duration of the units so they do match the existing day.
For example 10 hours in a day (10 metric hours that are equivant to 24 current hours). Then divide those 10 hours into 10 minutes each, and those into 10 seconds, 10 deconds, 10 centeconds, 10, milliseconds, and so on downwards. I would be happy with that.



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The police have been feeding into this phobia. They always talk about how they want everything to close early, and I quote: "get everyone into bed by eleven."

Supposedly Davis is all about neighborhood participation and "eyes on the street" but his subordinates never got the memo. For some reason, they haven't figured out that a deserted city street is a mugger's paradise.


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I do believe I’ve read that like the overuse of lights, the less people out at night, the more dangerous it is and the more crime you get. Criminals are pretty dumb as a rule, but they know the less people around the less likely to be caught or ID’d.

The police are probably worried about stretching resources thin, but that’s a political problem.

Anyone know how many officers are on duty at any given night? How much of a reduction is it in the force? Honestly, I’d wager that we probably should have the bulk on duty 2md shift and at night and less during the day; and wouldn’t be surprised to see that is not the case.


"and I quote: 'get everyone

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"and I quote: 'get everyone into bed by eleven.'"

Who are you quoting, and in what context?


Not even

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Not even--the people of Allston who are going to McDonalds at 5 a.m. aren't doing it for entertainment. To people who want to get their breakfast or coffee from McDonald's, it's a basic amenity.


And really, most people

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And really, most people grabbing an egg mcmuffin at 5 AM aren't going out for food after a long night of partying. They're more likely on their way to work.


they would prefer to see no

they would prefer to see no action on Western Avenue until after residents move into the new Charlesview complex next door and give their opinions.

By all means, let's let the new residents of a development that just opened last week dictate the terms under which a business that's been in the neighborhood for decades can operate.

About that new Charlesview complex....

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Hang on - it might not matter to the basic discussion here, but aren't most, if not nearly all, of the folks moving into those new apartments relocatees from the existing complex on the corner of N. Harvard and Western (which I believe will shortly be summarily steamrolled by Harvard)?


Apparently not

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Although all the tenants were given the option to move, I think, some decided not to. Also, the new complex has more apartments, so there will be brand-new tenants.

Could take several months before the new complex is full.

Behavioral economics

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You should make the change and then let people move into the area. They will be more acclimated to the situation. If you let them move in and acclimate and then change the situation, there is ALWAYS a push-back because it's "not the way things were"....even if the change is completely benign or potentially even improves their access/convenience/etc.


no thanks

That location is a cesspool and i could think of other things that i would rather have open later...

I do agree with the argument about methadone being a scam. yes there are some people who get better, and yes these people are less likely to overdose. But what about the rest of the people who spend the rest of their lives loitering in between fixes? all we have done is moved the money from the drug market into the pharmaceutical industry...

Eh, that doesn't sound so

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Eh, that doesn't sound so bad. No one gets shot when the competition between Pfizer and Novartis gets heated.