May 5, 2023 - Development

A new, bigger Trader Joe's is coming to Back Bay

Trader Joe's obtained a liquor license tied to 500 Boylston St., which has several retail spaces available to lease. Trader Joe's did not confirm it is leasing but said it is "exploring locations in the area." Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

The Boston Licensing Board unanimously approved a liquor license yesterday for Trader Joe’s in the Back Bay.

What’s happening: The license isn’t for the infamously tiny, underground Trader Joe’s, purported to be the world’s smallest, but for a 16,512-square-foot space at 500 Boylston St. four blocks away from the existing store.

Why it matters: Shopping at the tiny Trader Joe’s means bracing for cramped aisles and lines that snake around the store. Plus a far more limited selection than an average store.

  • If the larger Trader Joe’s opens, it could give shoppers some breathing room.

Zoom in: Andrew Upton, an attorney representing the project, said at a previous meeting the "mini Trader Joe's" on Boylston Street is too small to support a liquor section, UniversalHub reported.

Yes, but: That doesn’t mean the tiny Trader Joe's is going anywhere. Asked about the 500 Boylston St. space, a company spokesperson said Trader Joe's is "exploring locations in the area" but that it has no plans to close the existing store.


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