NABB LBU Comm. Hears from Two Applicants

The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) Licensing and Building Use (LBU) Committee heard from representatives for two proposed businesses – a tea shop and cookie shop, respectively – during its monthly meeting held virtually on Monday, July 1.

D. Murphy Photo
The proposed future home of Hay
Tea at 223 Newbury St.

​In the first matter, Hay Tea – a China-based chain of tea shops which now has around 300 locations worldwide – intends to open a store at 223 Newbury St. Its application with the city would require a zoning change from retail to restaurant while the establishment, which would serve a variety of tea drinks, has no plans to serve either alcohol or food.

​The business’s proposed hours of operation are 11 a.m. to

10 p.m. daily, said Justin Byrnes, an attorney for the applicant.

The proposed shop would span 786 square feet – around 600 square feet of which would be kitchen space used for the assembly of drink and drink toppings, said John Pulgini, another attorney for the applicant.

A new sign proposed for the business is the only expected exterior change, added Pulgini.

​Regrading trash removal and storage, Pulgini said those details were still being finalized with the landlord. Elliott Laffer, a long-serving NABB board member, as well as the former committee chair, advised him that since the tea shop isn’t expected to generate much trash, “it would be nice to keep it inside.”

​In another matter, Chip City – a chain of shops selling fresh-based cookies with around 25 locations, mostly based around New York City and in New Jersey – intends to open in the garden-level space formerly occupied by Dependable Cleaners at 316 Newbury St.

​The proposed hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, which mirror those of Chip City’s location at 97 Causeway St., near the TD Garden, said Daniel Brennan, a consultant for the applicant.

​New exterior signage reflecting the new business and its branding  would be installed above the door, said Brennan.

​Besides cookies, the approximately 1,100 square-foot store, which would offer no on-site seating for customers, would sell ice cream (for ice-cream sandwiches) and milk (i.e. milk and cookies), said Brennan. (

The applicant is only seeking a CV [Common Victualler] from the city for the proposed business and won’t require a restaurant license.

​The cookies would arrive frozen from the company’s commissary in New York, said Brennan, with deliveries made about once every two weeks.

​The proposed Newbury Street store is expected to generate about two bags of trash each day and has a small alley accessible for trash pickup, said Brennan, who added that the applicant would discuss trash pickup with their landlord.

​Laffer again asked the applicant to keep trash inside “as much as is possible.”

​Conrad Armstrong, committee chair, told both applicants he would notify them of NABB’s Executive Committee’s determinations on their respective applications with the city (i.e. to oppose or not oppose the application) on July 12 – one day after the Executive Committee’s next scheduled meeting.

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