An upscale martini bar and restaurant has signed a deal to take the anchor retail space at 757 Mass Ave, the luxury condo building at the southwest corner of Massachusetts and College avenues. Bill Pritt, the owner of Blu Martini, plans to open a new concept called Forty Five Degrees. It will be a full-service restaurant with “a healthy and unique menu including sushi.” Pritt has signed a five-year lease for 3,500-square-feet and hopes to open in January.
I hope Pritt got a better deal than the Beilouny's owner was offering other prospective tenants. The owner wanted over a $100 grand in base rent, which included rent for potential outdoor seating space, and included nothing for build-out according to inquiries about a year ago. The owner also didn't want a tenant where loud music would be an issue.
Parking is really becoming an issue on Massachusetts Avenue. This particular block will now have five restaurant/bars, two clothing stores, a comedy club, and a two beauty salons, as well as the firefighters hall. I had a conversation with two of the bar owners earlier this week, who both agreed parking had really become a problem for their patrons after the Chatham Tap opened this fall.
I remember when the only sign of life on this part of the Avenue was the Metro nightclub. The old Betty Boops nightclub up the street provided quite a cultural clash between the gay patrons going to the Metro and the poorer inner-city blacks who frequented Betty Boops. As with many major cities, it's the gay population which first revitalizes these run down neighborhoods, and this neighborhood was no exception. As real estate prices have skyrocketed, you're seeing fewer gays living in the neighborhood and more and more wealthy retirees.