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Bookstore on Charles Street wins approval; rare bit of good news on a street that has lost 20 stores in recent months

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a Beacon Hill resident's plans to turn the former Hungry I building on Charles Street into a bookshop with reading rooms and a ground-floor cafe.

Melissa Fetter bought the building last year. The board today approved her plans for a major interior renovation, which will include a retail bookshop, two floors of reading rooms and one floor of office space. An elevator will be installed, while three small apartments, which were vacant when Fetter bought the building, will be removed during the renovations to the 1850s buildin.

The cafe will largely replace the Hungry I, which had served French food until it shut last year.

The mayor's office and City Councilors Kenzie Bok (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill) and Annissa Essaibi-George (at large) approved the proposal. The Beacon Hill Civic Association voted not to opposed the project.

An aide to Bok said the project is particularly welcome on Charles Street, which has seen some 20 businesses close since the pandemic hit.




You should have seen Charles Street in 1967. It was a hippie heaven! You could get anything you wanted. :-) Seriously though, I may be old but it will be nice to have a bookstore there.

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There used to be a wonderful used book store on Charles St., before the rents got so high. I hope that this one succeeds.

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