Contrary to some of the rumblings circulating around the city today, we’re glad to be able to pass along some good news. According to the company’s CEO, Not Your Average Joe’s is not looking to leave The Loop.
Since we were first to report on Stop N’ Shop leaving, we have heard a slew of rumors about more departures from The Loop retail and entertainment hub. Thankfully, most of the rumors have been false, but one potential news nugget came from a historically very reliable business source who is not one to gossip.
We heard from that source today that Not Your Average Joe’s is likely to be the next departure from The Loop and that plans were already being made for their departure when their lease is up in late 2020. Doubly troubling, according to the source: NYAJ was headed to Tuscan Village, the new mega mixed-use development taking shape in Salem, N.H. that made more new tenant announcements this week.
Given the restaurant’s lengthy tenure in the complex and the local management’s efforts to engrain themselves in the community by often supporting the schools and the local sports teams, this was “the worst news I’ve heard yet,” said our source. “Sometimes, change creates opportunity, but having a chain that gets community like Joe’s leave right now, that would be disastrous.”
We reached out to NYAJ corporate media relations officials this afternoon and were shocked and a little nervous to get a quick email back from CEO Peter D’Amelio wanting to talk. Historically, that kind of reaction that quick from ‘corporate office’ is never a good thing. But this call was different.
D’Amelio wanted to make it clear that NYAJ has no intention of leaving The Loop.
“We have loved our relationship with the development and very much want to be in The Loop for another 5, 10, 15 years,” D’Amelio said. He said the company is in the middle of renegotiating their lease with Loop owners Charter Realty and Development and that the two sides actually had “productive talks” this week.
“We’ve looked at recent developments at The Loop and examined our options and while Tuscan Village looks very promising, we believe we are best suited to stay in Methuen where we have an amazingly loyal fan base,” D’Amelio said. “The Loop is a phenomenal development and while there is some transition going on there, we believe in its long-term future.”
He said the Milton, Mass.-based chain — which has 23 restaurants spread throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland — would ideally like to renovate their existing space, but that lease negotiations need to be completed before talk shifting to a reno timetable.
“Negotiations can change, so I can’t say in stone we’re staying until we have a new deal, but where we’re at now and how we’ve always felt embraced by the community, our first choice is to stay right where we are and make it an even better, modernized layout.”
D’Amelio said that while there is no set timetable to complete negotiations, officials hope to have a deal in place soon to officially dispel any lingering rumors and begin focusing on the next chapter of their Methuen location.