HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Bella Luna Moving...Milky Way Closing

Bella Luna will move perhaps as early as August to The Brewery complex, perhaps next year if a short team lease is signed. Milky Way CLOSING on same schedule.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That's really sad about Milky Way closing. I'm glad Bella Luna is going to stay in JP, but it's too bad that the center of JP loses an institution like this. I just hope that something equally funky and quirky will replace it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Not likely anything good will replace it. The rent the landlord is asking is insane. This greedy guy is doing everything he can to jack up rent prices in JP -- he has no regard for the neighborhood at all. The only ones who will be able to afford it would be a chain, and that won't happen. Bella Luna has been an institution and a boon to Hyde Sq. Even though I'm sad it's leaving there, I'm glad they're not giving in to the pressure to overpay.

    2. This is sad news! While I wasn't thrilled with the food at Bella Luna, I was so happy to have such an interesting place like the Milky Way down the street from my house! It added a ton of "JP-ness" to JP. Ya digg?

      Plus, their hip-hop nights were awesome.

      1. That's really unfortunate, for hounds and all of us. Keep a watch on this space. Such an increase means that he likely already has someone/something lined up for that space already. You can willing to bet that the eventual new tenant will not be paying that much.

        1. Ug. Bad news. I saw sooo many good up-and-coming bands at the Milky Way. Especially liked Mittens.

          And the pizza at Bella Luna can actually be very good, when they cook it enough (which they do about 50% of the time).

          1. The Milky Way was the site of so many wonderful events. I will really miss it. Greedy landlord.

            1. this is terrible news, indeed. we've always found bella luna to be a reliable neighborhood standby, and particularly enjoyed their pizzas (they were always well-cooked in our many trips, tho' i suspect we like our pizzas blonder than bostonbob.)

              i've always wondered how many of the businesses in jp can make their margins--esp. when you see (in the article referenced above) that rent for that space is $13,000-24,000 a month, plus wages, etc.. (granted, it's a huge space.) i hope what goes in to replace it isn't some faux-hipster generic yuppie-trendy place with crappy food (that means you, alchemist.)

              i don't know what this portends for zon's, which is in the same building. hopefully nothing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: autopi

                Commercial rents are crazy all over the Boston area. I know of a Chinese restaurant in a middle-class suburb of Boston that has room for only about 25 tables, and it paying about $30,000 a month. It's amazing that more restaurants aren't closing for this reason these days...

                1. re: autopi

                  It definitely portends the same outcome for Zon's -- once their lease is up in a few years. I have some experience with this landlord (non restaurant-related), his goal is to run up rents in the neighborhood, that's all he cares about. I doubt he has someone else ready to take over Bella Luna. He thought he had them over a barrel, but they were willing to walk and good for them. All he needs is ONE sucker to accept the crazy rents, then all of the JP business rents (he owns alot of space) will be reset to Back Bay prices. He'll let every space sit empty and rotting before he'll let someone in for less than outrageous rent. No concern for the good of the neighborhood. Apparently the Globe picked this up today as well. It burns me to no end that he presents himself as someone who has tried to "subsidize" businesses by giving them low rents all these years. Puh-leeze. Ten Tables will also fall victim to his sooner or later -- the landlord is the evil twin and former partner of this one. Any restaurant in JP that is doing well and is owned by them will see this sooner or later.

                2. It's odd -- is this some how any different from all of the other businesses that are moving around the neighborhood right now? Bella Luna had a 15-year lease, and it had a good run at this location. It seems disingenuous that Mainzer didn't know the rent was going to increase before now (and I can't imagine how a building owner could dream of competing with the non-profit JPNDC. Businesses are moving to the Brewery because your tax dollars are subsidizing the rents, folks!) I'd love to reincarnate an old JP restaurant like Black Crowe Caffe or Mi Casita or Perdix or Five Seasons in the Bella Luna space... or bring on something new and creative. It will be good to see two tenants in those spaces rather than one. Good historical "rents are going up" article here: http://jamaicaplaingazette.com/node/2261

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: osric

                    I think you mean Five Seasons in the Centre Street Cafe space? Black Crow was nice (better as a cafe than a restaurant, imho), not sure why they closed. MiCasita was a placeholder, when Centre Street Cafe moved from that space to the Five Seasons space, they still had some time left on their lease so she opened Mi Casita until her lease was up. I loved Mi Casita. Perdix obviously had bigger ambitions and moved to the south end. All of the above, with the exception of Five Seasons, had/have the same landlord in question. Interesting. I have no doubt that Mainzer was expecting a rent increase, but 85%? With a big yearly increase, I'd be willing to bet. No way. Good for her. As for other businesses moving around JP, a good chunk of them are owned by this same landlord as well..

                    1. re: purple bot

                      Well I was no fan of the Bella Luna's food, so I look forward to something new in that space. (Inconsistent and overpriced, IMHO.) Seems the bigger loss is the Milky Way, but I'd expect another operator could do as well if not better with that space.

                      1. re: osric

                        I don't disagree with you about the quality of Bella Luna's food -- I'm lamenting that no one will be able to go into that space for the kind of money they're asking. It will sit empty and bring down Hyde Square. Especially since Bella Luna/Milky Way will no doubt be taking their alcohol license with them.

                        1. re: purple bot

                          Yes, in this economy especially, there's a good chance that the space they vacate will become just another empty storefront. I see it where I live a lot these days, and it definitely has a way of messing up otherwise appealing neighborhoods.

                          There's nothing good that comes out of empty storefronts, so I really do hope that the landlord does not do what you mentioned earlier, purple bot, about letting places remain empty like that for a long time. JP has really come along over the past several years, and there's no reason to have it heading in the wrong direction, since the neighborhood has so much to offer now.

                          This really stinks. I'll miss the Milky Way. Even if it does re-open in the Brewery along with Bella Luna (BTW, the Globe says that it will), it will still be missed, not just for its funky old atmosphere, but also for its convenient location in the heart of JP.