Allston McDonald's wants to never close

The owner of the McDonald's at Harvard and Commonwealth avenues is seeking permission to stay open around the clock.

The Boston Licensing Board considers its request to extend its hours, which now run 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., at a hearing on Wednesday.

A little over a year ago, the board agreed to let the burger place change its opening hour from 7 a.m. to 5 a.m., after owner Bob King agreed to take steps to keep his franchise from becoming a hangout for methadone patients.

At the time, Allston Civic Association President Paul Berkeley opposed that change, saying his members were "fearful we're just going to become a 24-hour community."

Also Wednesday, King seeks permission to extend the hours of his franchise at 360 Western Ave., currently 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The board's hearings begin at 10 a.m. in its fifth-floor hearing room in City Hall.



Free tagging: 


"fearful we're just going to

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"fearful we're just going to become a 24-hour community."

Allston already IS A 24 HOUR COMMUNITY thanks to the COMMUNITY which lives there!

I want to quickly say that I

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I want to quickly say that I live in Allston and the Allston Civic Association does not represent my views. I don't have time to attend meetings about a McDonalds' hours but I support increasing the amount of 24 hour establishments in my neighborhood.

This is the problem

"I don't have time to attend meetings about a McDonalds' hours"

That is the core of the problem right there. Most of the people with skin in the game have other things to do, which means that the decisions end up being left to the people who don't have anything better to do. They are precisely the sort of people who do not understand why someone might want a bite to eat at 3:00 in the morning.

(and I don't mean to pick on you--the things you're doing, I'm sure, are important, like work, taking care of your kids, cooking, cleaning, or even just catching a bit of well deserved rest and/or relaxation after doing all that other stuff!)

Better yet.. get rid of these things.

They are unelected self appointed pest modules.

The various psuedo 'movers and shakers' who comprise them will be freed up do do more useful stuff like cleaning crud out of the Muddy or something.

It's inherently self-correcting

Those community organizations that develop a reputation for not accurately representing the community tend to have very little credibility with the various government bodies before whom they appear, and consequently have very little influence.

You're not seriously suggesting that the government somehow ban private nonprofit organizations from forming or from voicing their opinions, are you?

Naah, marginalization would be fine.

Less influence is best.

The credential process can just as readily be attributed to nepotism in this low merit who ya know culture.

These things are just foot soldiers for real estate price manipulations and asset inflation.

In that they differ little from front organizations used by oligarchs like the Koch Brothers.

I can understand as the inflated areas are most vulnerable to value loss in a down turn or significant change in market factors like interest rate hikes.

If you are a bag holder without much hope for significant property value growth, it's gotta suck.

But the many who rent have nothing to win from these real estate quandaries.

It would be really fun to make some kind of infographic denoting pest module boundaries in neurotic self important neighborhoods so it's easier for the rest of us to just shun them.

Freedom of speech, right, I like its two edge potential.

Hell I might even take a stroll through the back side of B Hill with my camera stuff to point out the lipstick pig situation. I haven't been through there since the 70s, it'd be a blast. I did cover Charles Street last fall.

While you're at it

Hell I might even take a stroll through the back side of B Hill with my camera stuff to point out the lipstick pig situation. I haven't been through there since the 70s, it'd be a blast. I did cover Charles Street last fall.

While you're on the back side of the hill, be sure to cover the community gardens, the hundreds of units of low income housing, the HIV+ housing, the Cambridge Street restoration, and the other projects successfully promoted by those "real-estate valuation obsessed busybodies" you love to deride.

Not a good excuse

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If the issue was important to you, you would get to the meetings. If a bunch of people who think that the ACA and other said obstructionists are ruining the area would get their asses in gear and show up, things might change.

I understand constraints. I've got the toddler to attend to at home after a day (and sometimes evening) at work, and I bellyache like the best of them (if you ever read things I right here), but if I were truly worked up about things, me and my crying toddler (okay, he doesn't cry, but he's learning how to pitch fits like the best of them) would be at a meeting raising hell.


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Lots of important issues that absolutely require our attention happen all the time without nary a peep from any of us...except the cranks and obstructionists who have made responding to all issues their personal cause celebre.

Yes, under the current regime/rules, enough people would need to show up (3x in a row or something like that) to unseat the number of cranks that show up...assuming that they don't get more cranks when they see things flipping on them.

However, it's the era of the internet. There's absolutely no reason that the ACA or any other community organization couldn't hold online polling. There should also be allowance for opinions from outside of the community since people living in one area may work or frequent other neighborhoods often. Someone who is always in Allston on their way home from work at 4 AM might have a desire for a fast food option even if they live in Brookline or Newton. That view should be heard too.

The ACA is a private organization

The ACA is a private oganization. It is free to form its positions by conducting online polls, or by using a Ouija board, or by asking the president's cousin, as it sees fit.

Couldn't that be the basis of a solution

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Couldn't another community board be formed to oppose the ACA? I mean, get a board, start holding meetings about development projects. If you get crowds and act rationally (which, by the way, does not necessarily mean giving McDonalds what they want, but at least hearing them out), the powers that be might start listening to the new group while the old group will be disparaged as a part of the old order.

Of course, that entails someone forming a new neighborhood group and holding monthly meetings, which is why I am a disinterested party in this.

Just throwing it out there.

Not reqlly

es, under the current regime/rules, enough people would need to show up (3x in a row or something like that) to unseat the number of cranks that show up...assuming that they don't get more cranks when they see things flipping on them.

You don't need to go to ACA meetings, become a member of the ACA, or unseat the board of the ACA; all people need to do is to show up at the city's meetings and say, "The ACA does not represent me."

City meetings

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Conveniently held when working people can't make it, but disability scammers/trust fund cranks can get there.


Last couple of community input meetings I've been to have been in the evening.

Eat where you live

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Okay, I'm going off topic now. This is beyond overnight eating choices.

Residents definitely should have much more of a say about what goes on where they live than those who pass through on the way between A and B. The logic of saying that one should have convenience during a commute actually hurt Allston. A lot. And if you don't believe me, check out what's under the Cambridge Street Bridge that just about everyone things needs repair.

I'm a traditionalist. Make a proposal. Have a community meeting. Let the powers that be know what you think. It works surprisingly well in places.

Again, what I'm saying is disconnected from whether or not McDonalds should be allowed to be opened 24 hours a day.

Fine then

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No state tax money for you.

Not about government funds

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It's about locals being able to decide the fate of their area.

Look, I hate NIMBYism as much as the next person. I love telling the story of how I ended up buying the house I own. On Wednesday night, there was a meeting about a project to build housing on Rowe Street. On Thursday I decided to work my run so I could see the lot up close (to jump to that end, it is still a vacant lot) but ended up seeing a "for sale" sign on a property during the run. Saw how much they were asking on Friday. Brought the fiancé to the open house on Sunday, when we made an offer. I thought the anti-development crowd on that issue was bullshit, and to this day I believe that was/is the case. However, in the end the neighborhood thought it was a bad idea (and there were a few good reasons to be against, but "we have our quota of affordable housing" was not one of them), so it was not done.

The ACA are obstructionist, regardless of whether something makes sense or not. However, if people in Brookline and Newton are looking for a place to eat at 4 AM, it is not up to Allston to provide that to the detriment of the quality of life (once again, not that I believe it to be the case here.) If there's enough people in Newton/Brookline who want to eat at that time, a McDonalds out that way should be open to cater to them.

My family came out against the Southwest Expressway when they moved to the best part of Boston. Because they felt ramming a 6 lane highway and 3 to 5 railroad tracks (expanded Orange Line was a proposal) through the area, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and Hyde Park are tougher to get to by highway, but are much nicer places for it. So, sometimes community input helps, sometimes it hurts. I'm just glad that the commuters from Foxboro weren't able to decide the fate of my neighborhood.

Yet they don't get the effects of the change

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I'll give you another example, a bit off, but still, would show.

Say the people of Brookline needed more electricity, and say we didn't have the grid we have, so they need a new generation plant. The owner of the IHOP in Allston decides that there is more money in electricity than in pancakes, so he decides to build a plant. Should the needs of the people in Brookline weigh more than the people living nearby?

So, no, if they want the amenities of Allston and want a say in what goes on in Allston, they should move to Allston. This is why I am want to give my opinion in the matter. As I stated, perhaps in another thread in this post, I hightailed it to Comm Ave when I needed food at 11:30 (we were at Children's Hospital, which is another story, but we were hungry and willing to go out of the way to get food we needed), but I still feel that my opinion should not count when it comes to late night eateries or other development issues in Allston-Brighton.

There's a big middle ground

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There's a big middle ground between residents and people who just want to drive through the area as quickly as possible. Boston is a city: some might even call it a global city. Its vitality comes from constantly changing. People move into the neighborhood, they move out of the neighborhood, people work in the neighborhood, people play in the neighborhood, and all these people contribute to the neighborhood in a way someone speeding through on the turnpike doesn't. Favoring the people who happen to currently live here (let alone the particular sort of people who belong to neighborhood organizations) is not representing the neighborhood in its totality.

Two hours?

This place opens at 5 AM and closes the next day at 2 AM. So what are we talking about here? Two hours? Three AM and 4 AM? Why is staying open 24 hours as opposed to 22 hours any kind of a big deal?


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The public input process in Boston planning is often driven by people who want to see projects changed because of them. The changes themselves are often immaterial.

Developer: "I want to build a 38 story building next to an existing 40 story building."
NIMBYs: "It's too tall and out of scale with the neighborhood!"
BRA: "We'll schedule 18 months of review."
Developer: "How about 36 stories?"
NIMBYs: "Grr. OK."

Conversely: why is not

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Conversely: why is not letting them stay open the extra two hours a big deal? Two hours? Who cares!?

That argument cuts both ways.

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That argument cuts both ways... why does a burger joint NEED to be open 24 hours? Isn't the franchise owner making enough profit being open 21 hours to cover expenses? The owner just wants more revenue.

One of the purposes of the old Blue Laws was to give a break to the employees being asked to work lousy shifts. It was inconvenient not being able to shop on Sunday morning, but on the flip side, everyone including those on the low end of the wage scale were able to have that time free.

This isn't about businesses

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This isn't about businesses making more money, it's about the fact that there is NOWHERE in Boston to get food at 3 am.

People get hungry in the middle of the night, whether they're people working graveyard shifts, or people who've gone out partying and want to pick up food on the way home.

It's ridiculous that you can live right in the middle of the city and not even have a convenience store within walking distance, much less a restaurant.

I refuse to ever eat McDonald's, but I fully support having a 24 hour location in Boston, and wish we had more.

South Street Diner

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Sorry, but you said there is no place in Boston to eat that's open 24 hours a day. The South Street Diner is, right across the street from South Station.

There are places that are open until 2 AM. There are places that open 5-6 AM. We are talking 3 hours where there is only one place I can think of that is open. And of course we are ignoring that convenience stores like 7-11 sell items akin to food, even warm food.

I have no dog in this fight. I don't live in Brighton or Allston. I barely eat in the area, though my last trip to T Anthony's came when the missus and I were looking for dinner at 11:30. The food never tasted so go, trust me.

Well it is kind of

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Well it is kind of embarrassing that at 3 AM there is ONE restaurant open in all of Boston. I have the great fortune to live in Worcester which despite bordering on a third-world shit-hole, has two 24 hour restaurants ON MY STREET alone.

Hey, don't knock ihop for

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Hey, don't knock ihop for post-drinking wee hours dinner! I miss the ihop in Kenmore Sq. for that very reason. Though, I'd only go there if the wait was too long at Deli Haus.

And that's even in Brighton

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There you go, food for the overnight crowd.

And don't get me wrong, there's a part of me that wants more than 2 places, but I wouldn't want to live next to one. Then again, I wouldn't want to live next to a restaurant that closed after 11.

Plenty of choices for you

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So, the people that want to eat get 2 maybe 3 places. Meanwhile there's a brazillion places to live that don't have a restaurant next to them, let alone one that closes after 11 AM...let alone one that closes after 2 AM.

You know who doesn't live next to a restaurant: the head of the ACA.

You missed my point

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DTP said there were no places to eat in Boston that are open 24 hours a day. I noted one. Adam noted another.

I'm not from Allston. I have no skin in this game. I think the residents should have input on this. And I agree that the ACA does not necessarily do a good job representing the neighborhood.

Used to live in a place where

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Used to live in a place where my bedroom shared an alleyway with a restaurant. Their dumpster was basically underneath my window down 3 stories. Guess what happened every night at closing time... 10 minutes of shattering glass from that night's bottles being tossed into the metal dumpster. Woke me up every night. Thankfully they didn't close at 2AM. when you have to get up for work at 6AM, that kind of sucks. And no, when I first moved in there wasn't a restaurant there so I didn't know what I was getting into.

I should have clarified.

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I should have clarified. However, my point is still very valid. In a city of 600,000 people, 2 places to eat at 3 am is not enough.

Where I grew up down south everything was open 24/7, from convenience stores, to fast food, to supermarkets. It wasn't a big deal. And it was really nice to be able to run out and grab a bite to eat at 3 am. Plenty of people did it, there was obviously demand, and I'm sure there is in Boston too. When I lived in JP and Fenway, there was nothing nearby except a few mediocre pizza places open past midnight. Despite all the young people. Despite the college students.

Bostonians should have a decent number of late night food options. It only makes sense. This is the only city I know of that makes this big of a deal out of it. I highly doubt the world is going to come to an end of people are allowed to go out and get a cheap burger at 3 am.

I defer to your clarification

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It was the none concept. The South Street Diner is pretty cool. The website threw me, as it looked like a squatter, but the menu's there.


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That's exactly how it all starts!

And won't somebody please think of the children?

I'd like to know

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where they're finding these fuddy-duddies to sit on the Civic Association. I didn't realize anyone that boring even lived in Allston-Brighton.

I mean, I guess there's a bit of a self-selection bias in that people with interesting lives have better things to do than to sit in civic association meetings, but still.

They have rules

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You can't become a member until you go to three meetings in a row, I think. And then you can vote on development proposals and stuff.

More property value fetishists

.with strange anxious superstitions about value declines like some tribe with rigid ritual adherence cause the volcano might erupt if they don't.

They seem to rise like mushrooms over there and are an indicator species for toxic horseshit whether it's sidewalk ramps, broken window myths or the operating hours of a fast food dump in a tavern cluster zone.

Inman has some small biz association, but it's pretty innocuous.

My feeling is that most of

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My feeling is that most of the old-timers at the ACA would like for property values to go down to preserve single family housing and get rid of the college kids. They all worked on the zoning docs for A-B in the 1980's and declare the decisions they made then to have come down from G_d and must rule all building activity in A-B forever. Frequently, they have a house in North Allston, but want to shut down all activity south of the Pike. (And don't get me started on the people who moved out of A-B, but somehow still work themselves onto all these neighborhood advisory committees because they lived in A-B from 1965-2005. If you move out, you have to accept you should truly have zero input.)

I think you're absolutely

I think you're absolutely right. I think they want to see the entire city return to what it was like when no one wanted to live there, except for them.

Oh hey

Have you been talking to my grandmother and her two sisters who grew up in the North End and now have completely cut off some of their lifelong friends because they dare rent to college students and are totally destroying the neighborhood and OMG DO YOU SEE THIS HANDBASKET WE ARE IN? DO YOU SEE IT???

McDonalds scam

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I'm fine with this if they allow me to purchase a cheeseburger after 11PM. Currently, they don't sell certain normal menu items later on at night. Including a basic cheeseburger.

They sell all their regular

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They sell all their regular sandwiches, only all made with Quarter Pounder patties, with an upcharge. They also still sell nuggets, fries, and apple pies. Maybe chicken is the same way, but I don't eat chicken at McD's. Actually, my doctor thanks god I got out of that college stage of eating McD's any time at all.

Thank you for demonstrating

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that you have just as much elitist snobbery as the people on the ACA who force the LIcensing Board to waste their time and our tax money arguing this nonsense of "OMG, a 24 Hour restaurant - how dare they actually propose something that benefits people!"


Wasn't that the same address where Deli King was?

Why do I feel like this conversation has happened before? Is this McDonald's first request for 24 hours? I feel like this argument has already happened, early morning hours aside.


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the kind of people whose schedules require them to be eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner at 4:30 am have alternative work schedules that preclude them from attending community meetings that are scheduled so as to be convenient for retirees and people on a traditional 9-5 workday.

You find a way

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If you wanted to get married, you would find a way to get your marriage license. If you felt aggrieved enough to sue someone, you would find a way to get to court to file the papers and work the suit through the system. If you work an overnight shift, you could attend the meeting on the way to work. Heck, you could send an e-mail to your city councilor or whoever to voice your support or displeasure.

If you care about an issue, you take action. If you don't take action, how much do you care?

Good idea

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I think all requests should be rubber-stamped. If it's a problem that any particular restaurant or commercial venture is open at 4 AM, then the people effected by it should complain and only then does the location have its hours restricted.

If they have an issue, then they should take action otherwise how much do they care?

Doesn't work like that

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I can't just say I'm married or that I'm going to put a smelter in the back yard. We fill out forms and get approval for a reason.

I have no issue with the community to have input into these things. Yes, the permitting process in Boston needs reform, but late night hours, in some parts of the city, are a big issue.

There's a small difference

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There's a small difference between getting married and voicing your concerns about a restaurant's hours.

A difference being

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There are several ways to do it. Okay, there are several ways to get married, but each way you need a license.

I did point out several ways to voice an opinion. I think almost all here just hate the influence of the ACA. If people are not going to organize, the influence remains.

As a grown adult you should

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As a grown adult you should know how to brew coffee, and toast a bagel. Can you wipe your own ass or does someone have to do it for you?