12 Years of eating local in South End: guest post by Maggie Collister

August 17, 2016 5:19 pm

Prior to joining our team as Director of Research, Maggie Collister worked in South End for 10 years as a consultant to residential developers. In this guest post, Maggie shares her perspective (and a few stats, of course) after more than a decade of eating local in South End.



12 years ago, South End was home to two apartment complexes and a handful of condominium buildings. Residents could hop on a restored trolley to get from point A to point B. Just like today, hungry workers could grab a Phat Burrito, a box of Price’s finest chicken, or a sizzling steak at Sullivan’s.


They also enjoyed fine dining at the Pewter Rose , pour over coffee (before it was cool!) at The Queen’s Beans and a scoop of ice cream at Skipper’s Scoops.


South End looks a lot different today with a lot more apartments and a modern light rail system. One thing that hasn’t changed is that it is still a great place to find a good restaurant. In 2004, there were 34 restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries in the district. Oh, and just ONE brewery.


Today there are 50 dining spots and 8 breweries and bottle shops. 15 of the restaurants that were open in 2004 are still serving today’s residents. Locally owned restaurants have always defined the district; in 2004, 82% of the restaurants were locally owned, today, 75% are.

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In a survey last summer, South End residents cited that preserving existing locally owned shops and restaurants while opening new ones was the most important factor in helping South End stay special.


Since that survey was wrapped up, 9 new restaurants have opened in the district, including an authentic French bakery, Thai and Korean options and more great places to enjoy craft beers.

And for those always looking for something new, a coffee shop, a wine bar and a sushi place are on the horizon, ensuring that South End carries on its history as a great place to get a meal.


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