Hey, there! Log in / Register

Longtime Roslindale taco place to shut doors after landlord doubles rent

Wapo Taco on Poplar Street will close its doors forever on June 27. In a Facebook post tonight, owners Dianne and Lorenzo write:

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts, that we make this announcement.

After 18 yrs. We have decided to close THE WAPO TACO. The building we are in, was recently sold. The new Landlords have doubled our rent. In order for us to stay, we would have to pass that on our customers, with a substantial price increase. We don't think that would be fair to all of you. We would like to thank all of our customers for all of your love and support over the past 18 yrs. We value the many friendships and memories we've made throughout the years.....

The announcement comes less than a month after another longtime Roslindale Square shop, the Vouros bakery, shut down.

On the plus side, this weekend marks the re-opening of the Boston Cheese Cellar on Birch Street.

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

It's really a shame...Bostons rent prices are getting a little absurd. It's coming to the point where only huge international corporations like Walmart and CVS can afford rent in Boston

up
Voting closed 0

Boston has been sold to soulless developers. It's disgusting.

up
Voting closed 0

The elected city leaders will publicly decry this and other people being priced out, but they won't do a damn thing because the higher prices means more tax $ money for the city coffers.

I have properties which are maintained respectably, not high end. But every year the city raises the assessed values, regardless if I do something or not. I then have to pass the higher costs onto the tenants. I feel for them but have no choice. It will get to the point that converting these to condos is the only viable solution as I don't see people paying 3k+ for rent.

Ultimately I don't think the city wants apartments, but would rather have condos.

up
Voting closed 0

Real estate loses its value at 3% per year (according to the tax code). If reinvestment in a property doesn't keep pace with depreciation, the building gets run down and loses value over time. Just look at the second story of this building. Or look at the back of the building from the Village Market parking lot. It takes adequate rents to maintain a property, but it also takes a landlord who is willing to put enough money back into a building and not pocket all the rent as income. Deferring property maintenance only puts a burden on the next property owner to erase years of disinvestment by the previous owner. Doing that costs money.

up
Voting closed 0

crossing my fingers for another hair/nail place.

up
Voting closed 0

I don't really like their food, but they seemed nice enough.

I see there's a new nail salon going in next to the trophy store. Let's hold off on declaring the gentrification of Roslindale complete I guess.

up
Voting closed 0

there are empty storefronts around Roslindale. Can one only hope that the market will correct itself and the landlords will drop the rents?

up
Voting closed 0

It would be nice if empty storefronts signaled that a market correction was due and likely to come, but I'm not sure that's the case. I realize that Roslindale Square is a far cry from the West Village, but I suspect that some of the same dynamics as those described in this New Yorker article are at play:

Compounding the problem is the fact that the closed storefronts often stay that way, sometimes for years, in an apparent contradiction of the law of supply and demand. If a storefront remains empty for a long time ... basic economics suggest that the price being charged is too high. So why doesn’t the owner lower the rents?

[L]andlords are willing to lose a tenant and leave a storefront empty as a form of speculation. They’ll trade a short-term loss for the chance eventually to land a much richer tenant, like a bank branch or national retail chain, which might pay a different magnitude of rent. If you’re a landlord, why would you keep renting to a local café or restaurant at five thousand or ten thousand dollars a month when you might get twenty thousand or even forty thousand dollars a month from Chase? In addition, if a landlord owns multiple properties, dropping the price on one may bring down the price for others.

up
Voting closed 0

The long-vacant Barnes & Noble in downtown crossing

It's been what, eight, nine years now?

up
Voting closed 0

Everything has to get referred back to NY, doesn't it? It's a law.

up
Voting closed 0

Vacant for months/years while the new landlord tries to entice a Walgreens or CVS to maximize his investment.

up
Voting closed 0

don't know what you talking about, the place is tiny with seating for about 6.

up
Voting closed 0

Excellent read. Hopefully the new units coming online between Robert St, the substation, and the Redds/Tony's building will bring an injection of foot traffic to the square.

up
Voting closed 0

Wapo Taco was/is a good spot for a $5 lunch. We're losing all the neighborhood cheap eats joints to increased rents. Downtown is a little buffered, simply because volume is high enough to support Cafe de Lulu and such, though even the busy lunch areas are taking a hit-- Xinh Xinh and the cheap banh mi spot on Temple Street have closed recently because of rent bumps & upscaling, just to name two. Before anyone jumps in with "Start the business you don't want to lose," think about how difficult it was for established businesses with good reputations and regular patrons to hang in with rent hikes, then tell me how a new business is going to succeed providing inexpensive food.

up
Voting closed 0

IDK about downtown, but it's not like there aren't other cheap options right in Roslindale - Romanos, the various Chinese places, House of Pizza, etc... Farther afield, Yucatan is not much more than $5 nor is Bahn Mi Gon, etc... I'd argue the bigger problem is wage stagnation vs. cheap food. Let's have $8 burritos where the person making it has a decent job and more people can afford to buy one.

I can see where it might not have been feasible for Wapo to sustain a rent increase, but I also have no idea how long they were paying the original rent. I remember at the meeting about Tony's that his landlord pointed out that he hadn't raised the rent in many, many years. So for all we know the rent went from $500 to $1000 or something not $2000 to $4000.

Here's an article outlining that rent/leases should be 8-10% of the operating cost- http://smallbusiness.chron.com/percentage-rent-vs-revenue-restaurants-63...

No idea what the books are at Wapo, but I wonder why they thought it wasn't feasible to simply raise prices to see if that could work? Let's say the rent double went from 10% of their costs to 20%. Seems like raising burrito prices by $1 might cover it?

I'm not trying say this isn't a bummer for Wapo or that they didn't do what was best for them but it would be interesting to know more.

up
Voting closed 0