Comings and Goings on Montague Street

This afternoon your correspondent had to walk from his residence to the bank, which entailed going the length of Montague Street. Along the way, he snapped some photos of storefronts either emptied, about to be emptied, or, in one instance, newly occupied, since the outbreak of COVID-19. This doesn’t purport to be an exhaustive survey, but should give a feel for the extent of the pandemic’s effect. Word has it that the Ann Taylor Loft store, at the corner of Montague and Hicks, is soon to be closed.

IMG_4278LPQ, which sits next to Loft, has been empty for some time. As Eater reported in May, the Belgian chain sold its U.S. locations to an American company, Aurify, that operates a number of fast food locations under various brands. Of the 98 LPQ locations Aurify bought, the Eater article says they plan to open “at least 35.” Whether the Montague Street location will be one of them remains to be seen. At least there’s no “For Lease” sign yet.

IMG_4274The site between Henry and Hicks previously occupied by an urgent care facility will, early in 2021, be the home of Oula, “[t]he modern maternity center” that looks forward to “[d]elivering new possibilities.”

IMG_4280B. Good be gone a long time, with no replacement in sight. Upstairs, Choo Choo Cuts has rebranded itself as Capulet’s, thereby claiming the name of what those living here before the mid 1980s may recall as a great bar, located where Cafe Buon Gusto later was until it moved, and which featured Bluegrass sessions every Friday night. The former Capulets/Cafe Buon Gusto location has papered over windows, indicating something new may be going in there.

IMG_4281Ani Sushi? Not ani more.

IMG_4284One new opening! According to Wikipedia, “In the Zen Buddhist tradition, ‘satori’ refers to the tradition of ‘kensho’ [which means] ‘seeing into one’s true nature.'” I suppose hair removal, which the lasers do here, could lead to such a revelation.

IMG_4285Francesca’s appears to be on the way out. Arrivederci!

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  • Jorale-man

    Haha: “I suppose hair removal, which the lasers do here, could lead to such a revelation.”

    I never went inside Francesca’s, I’ll admit, but it looks like it was aiming higher. B. Good wasn’t bad but I think it had too much of a chain restaurant vibe for the street, and was too healthy for those who actually prefer chain food.

  • robertnill

    The tough thing about Montague Street is it’s really two streets – a neighborhood shopping/eating street and a workday shopping/eating street for the Courthouse and Borough Hall area. Have to think the drop off in business from that traffic really hurt places such as Five Guys, and as you note, Be Good from the start. (The notable lack of flavor in their offerings the couple of times I tried them didn’t help either.)

  • Francesca Tate

    Well, being that my name is Francesca, I did shop there a couple of times.

  • Ellymay

    I miss the Loft store immensely. The salespeople , especially Belkis, were very welcoming and the clothes were a good value for the money. As a retiree it was a place to visit and chat with the ladies a few times a week. It is a big loss to the neighborhood.