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Venerable Italian grocery shutting North End outlet

NorthEndWaterfront.com reports J. Pace & Son on Cross Street is closing forever on Saturday.

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NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

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It will be missed (but not as much as the late-lamented Dairy Fresh Candies).

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Concur. First Dairy Fresh, now Pace. The North End will soon be nothing but fern bars and yuppie cafes.

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Though my original barber's _son_ now often cuts my hair instead. (Been going there for almost 18 years now).

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Will miss Pace's. There is still the Seaport location! (hopefully)

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Their Italian sandwich (seeded roll, please) is a favorite of mine. Not to mention a heaping helping of their chicken florentine with a thick slice of bread reliably offered by their lovely cashier, all for under $7. Good value for the area, and good folks all around. Sorry to see them close. Hope they plan on rebuilding elsewhere. Well, now I know where I'm having my lunch today!

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You know, the one that was famous from the day it opened. Said so, right above the door. What North Ender doesn't have a tale to tell about that venerable institution?

Nicki V. We hardly knew ya.

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had a grea shop.

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That's what happens when a neighborhood gentrifies, and the people that sustained those businesses move away. It's unlikely that the new transplants have any clue of how to utilize the ingredients sold in that shop. Have you seen what passes for Italian food outside of the Northeast, where a lot of the transplants come from? Most of the true neighborhood Italian shops/restaurants are out in the suburbs of Boston anyway, where the Italians moved to. People who haven't lived in the area a long time wouldn't know that though.

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"It's unlikely that the new transplants have any clue of how to utilize the ingredients sold in that shop. Have you seen what passes for Italian food outside of the Northeast, where a lot of the transplants come from? "

I don't think being a transplant has nearly as much to do with it, as the fact that most of them don't cook for themselves on a regular basis. I mean, come on, the products on the shelves of Pace weren't really exotic -- you don't have to be from Salem Street to know how to cook pasta. Grocery stores are sustained by people who cook, no matter what ingredients they're selling. It's cooking for yourself on a regular basis that's foreign to most people living in the North End today.

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I'm a North End-er who cooks Italian regularly. Pace has great sandwich, but their groceries are pretty underwhelming, especially compared to other places in the neighborhood. I mean, the Italian section of the old White Hen was better than the stuff at Pace's.

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... but they seem to have got rid of lots of shelf space with groceries to make more room for sandwiches.

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Why do you think Pace's gave up grocery shelf space for sandwiches?

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Walk through any building in the North End, smell everyone cooking, and then tell me again how many people you think are cooking at home.

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Uh, what? Odds are they are likely making a grilled cheese or you are smelling the pizza they had delivered.

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I await with baited breath the scientific study confirming your speculation.

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Please inform us of the scientific methodology you used to deduce that the smells you encountered are in fact people cooking, and not delivery or smells wafting up from the restaurants below. (Never mind whether they are in fact cooking Italian or otherwise).

"I await with baited breath the scientific study confirming your speculation."

Yeah, as if the 20 something dude bros who've moved to the North End are totally whipping up some mean carne-al-piatto in their free time.

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Are those family recipes?

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Regardless of how much the average North End residents cooks for themselves, it's unlikely that most of the new arrivals are going to be cooking Italian family recipes that call for specialty ingredients.

Though some transplant might think they are cooking something authentic because they decided to try a recipe they saw somewhere in a magazine.

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How unlikely exactly would you say? You've got some sort of mathematical equation to calculate that, right?

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Do you need a mathematical calculation to come to the conclusion that non-Italian transplants are less likely to cook Italian food at home? Looking at the demographics changes over the last 30 years is a decent enough starting point.

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There used to be one on Devonshire, but that closed too.

I've seen their stores well out side of Boston and I suspect that the family that runs it has gone suburban (along with some of their clientele), rather than fallen victim to evil tomato-hating transplants from those other places.

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J. Pace closed their older Saugus location and re opened a new one. It is sad to see them leave the North End though.

It was telling for me that things were changing when I saw a Chinese Restaurant in the North End.

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The neighborhood gentrified and the businesses and their patrons moved to the suburbs. There's nothing wrong with pointing that out.

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Have you seen what passes for Italian food outside of the Northeast, where a lot of the transplants come from?

Yeah.. Carrabba's and Olive Garden.

Two very poor excuses for Italian food. Then again these people who like Carrabba's and Olive Garden also think Red Lobster is great for seafood also. Yuk

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Word reached us DEAROs that Erminio Martignetti (founder of Salumeria Italiana on Parmenter) had died. His store probably won't be closing anytime soon, however: between foodie tourists and online blurbs, they'll do all right. Pace kept his outfit on Cross very utilitarian, i.e. they way it was when Italians shopped there.

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Things are tough all over.

http://cappyinboston.blogspot.com/

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They have two other locations remaining open you know.
One near MGH at the end of Blossom Court.
You make it sound like they are going out of business.

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The store on Blossom Street is more mainstream and doesn't have all the Italian items I love.

Oh, for the good old days, when there was a team of guys selling meat and cheese behind the counter and all of them would speak Italian with the customers. And they had that cat. I used to carry her around the store as she slept in my arms and do my shopping at the same time.

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They all speak spanish and we complain that nobody speaks english and we call the health department because there is an animal roaming the store.

Ah the good ole days before we were all hypocrites.

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