March 23 2016
Fast Casual Restaurant Pressed Cafe Approved for The District
By: Rich Hosford
The Planning Board approved a special permit for a fast casual restaurant looking to move into The District during its most recent meeting.
The permit was for Pressed Café, which currently has one location in Nashua, New Hampshire, which is looking to open a 3,500 square feet restaurant in Building A of The District. According to the application the restaurant will have seating for 175 patrons, 50 of which will be seasonal outdoor seating.
During the previous meeting Planning Board members raised some concerns about the safety of the patio, saying they would like to see a plan that would protect diners from vehicle accident like the one seen recently in a Newton pizzeria where two people were killed and more injured when a car struck the restaurant.
They also had objections to the artistic renderings of the building, questioning the landscape design, the orientation of the entrance door and how the back of the building would look.
Last week representatives of National Development, owner of The District, provided revised plans that showed protective bollards to prevent vehicles from reaching the patio or the building. There were still concerns about protecting the back of the building in terms of protection and aesthetics and the permit was granted on the condition the planners design a safe and attractive solution.
Members also questioned the design and layout of the building, specifically the material that will be used on the outside and the location of the entrance. Developers said that for comparison the building will most resemble the Crate & Barrel in town (photo with article is of the Nashua location). Planning Board members said they preferred the design that was previously in The District when it was New England Executive Park.
“I kind of zoned out on this one,” Paul Raymond said. “New England Executive Park was for many years a hallmark park, a signature of the Route 128 Corridor. People tell me this is progress but I don’t know.”
I’m the biggest design freak on the board and in this case it would not be my choice in terms of siding,” Joe Impemba added. “But it’s their park and I do like the direction it’s going with the new restaurants. Before it was an office park only and residents didn’t really get to use it.”
Board Chairman Barbara L’Heureux asked why the front door would face the parking lot instead of the road. A designer for National Development said it was part of an overall concept of the park and that all the building are being designed to be attractive from all four sides rather than traditional storefronts.
Pressed Café will be open seven days a week, offering breakfast all day, Panini sandwiches, made-to-order salads, house-made soups, local micro-roasted coffee, cold brew, espresso drinks, fresh smoothies, and cold pressed juice.