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Visions for Vacancies: 344 Watertown St., Nonantum (Formerly Radnor Printing)

This storefront on Nonantum has been empty for some time -- what should move in?

Welcome to , a Patch feature and a place where you can weigh in with your ideas about what kind of businesses you’d like to see occupying empty storefronts around Newton.

Each week, we’ll highlight a vacant building, storefront or structure around the city. Then, we’ll leave it you, the Newton community, to sound off on what you’d like to see there.

This week' we're at 334 Watertown St. in Nonantum, the former Radnor Printing location. 

This building, which is at the intersection of Chapel Street and Watertown Street,  following an accident. Although te building seems to have been fixed up, the space remains empty.

According to its website, Radnor Printing is now Signal Graphics and is located on Centre Street. 

Watertown Street offers a variety of family-owned Italian businesses, from local and to and a . But what is this village missing?

Tell us what you think should go in this building by commenting below.

Mark Golden July 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Keeping with the theme of "Da Lake", I would like to see a North End style produce store on the first floor with offices above. If the owner of the store is the owner of the building, the rent they get for the offices would offset the "rental costs" of the store. With the produce store, people in the area could get a complete meal without leaving the neighborhood.
Estey Silva July 19, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I'd love to see a great diner in there. I live nearby and would love to have a nice place for Sunday brunch!
LoisMargaret Dominique July 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I think I would agree with Mark Golden's comment. I have always said, "you can get a complete meal - except for vegetables - here in the Lake". A bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, a seafood appetizer, fresh sausages or steak tips, and gelato and expresso for desert! All withing walking distance. A nice fresh produce (North End style - of course!) would be wonderful. NOT ANOTHER HAIRDRESSER OR BANK!
LoisMargaret Dominique July 19, 2012 at 01:43 PM
FYI : Tommy Doyle's has a great Sunday brunch.
Naomi Olson July 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Amazing! I was going to say "a really good greengrocer"! There is an emerging consensus here. In the Italian tradition but giving space to locally grown and produced specially crops and value-added products like jams, pickles, canned local tomatoes etc. and being very selective about stock in the off season. To be economically viable the shop would probably also have to sell sandwiches or something....
Janet Sterman July 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Serious parking problem at that corner!
Jordan Lee Wagner July 22, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Big problem: No place for employees to park. Customers have the lot across the street, but all day employees don't. Also asking a rather high price. As far what the neighborhood hasn't got yet that could go there: a good kosher deli.
Jordan Lee Wagner July 22, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Something kosher in the Lake could help make Nonantum more of a shopping destination for the rest of Newton, (Only kosher food options now are in Brookline, or else the kosher Chinese restaurant on the Newton-Needham line.)
Mark Golden July 22, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Yes, a Kosher spot would have been nice. Ninety years ago, when Nonantum was the first Jewish area of Newton. And even to a degree today with the Israelis who have moved to the area over the last 20 or so years. But, this is not Brooklyn or even Brookline. For a Kosher restaurant to survive it needs local foot trafic as well as people coming by car. In addition, if a Kosher place was to open, it would have to keep to the rules and would be closed during the busiest of times for the areas eating establishments, Friday night and Saturday.
Jordan Lee Wagner July 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM
There is no Jewish-style deli here, kosher or not, so the foot traffic is there for something of that style. (You don't have t be Jewish to like...) (Of course the still-vibrant 100-year-old shul around the corner would patronize it only if it were actually kosher.) My point about it attracting Jews from other neighborhoods of Newton was not connected in my mind with the viability of the business, but with its congruence with another goal of the neighborhood's businesses: The merchants of the Lake would benefit from making Nonantum a "shopping destination", taking a slice of the traffic away from places like the Chestnut Hill Mall. Anything unique to Nonantum becomes another "draw" that benefits the whole Nonantum economy by introducing others to all that we have.
Mark Golden July 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM
There is a very good reason that there is no Jewish Style Deli. There is no customer base to support one! If you want a Jewish style deli, go to Waban Square to Barry's Deli. In Newton Center there are 2 locations that would qualify. Johhny's and the new one on Pelham St. called Inna's Kitchen. While I personally would like to see a Jewish style deli in each of Newton's 13 Villages, there is no need for more right now. Look what happened to those that tried in the past. Just think of a name like Carnegie Deli. One of the finest names in the business and they did not make it long. They couldn't even make it in Brookline. The days of going to a deli almost every day are over. Very few of us eat in that manner any more and a "neighborhood" deli MUST draw from far a field to survive. But all of our talk of a Green Grocer, delis and the like I am afraid will be for naught as the costs of opening any establishment dealing in any type of food product is far too high combined with the rents the new owner will be requiring. Offices are the probable outcome of this future sale. Maybe medical, maybe business. Maybe a mix. I think the building will be broken down into many offices. Now their problem will be parking. But I am still voting for the Veggies! Hey, I know how it can be done. The NRA can buy the building. Rent out the bottom to a Green Grocer and the top to offices. By the way, the NRA stands for the Nonantum Revitialization Association.
Fred Martinez November 05, 2012 at 07:29 AM
The building exterior looks old, and kind of reminds me of an old fashioned fire department. But I think it would probably be too small to house even one fire engine. I wonder what happened to the previous printing company. Why did it close down? As for what should replace that business, perhaps an Italian Pizza place would be great to go along with the Italian theme in that neighbourhood? The street can be marketed as a “little Italy”, with the various Italian shops so conveniently located. - http://www.intellprinting.com
Mark Golden November 05, 2012 at 01:20 PM
A Fire Station? With the newly renovated Station 4 just up (or down) the street, I don't think so. If you read the original article, you will see that it is renamed and has moved to Center St. An Italian Pizza Place! What a novel idea. Have you ever seen the surrounding blocks? Wow, how did you ever come up with the idea to market a "Little Italy"? Could it be the Italian flag colors virtually everywhere? Could it be ALL the pizza shops? The Italian restaurants, is that what gave you the idea? Come on Fred. Sure, all ideas would be welcome, but these? Please! But, keep the thoughts coming.
Mark Golden November 05, 2012 at 01:26 PM
By the way. I clicked on the link you have at the end of your posting. It seems that YOU are a printing company. Hmm. If the ideas you present are an example of your companies ability to pay attention to details, your customers must be in deep ka-ka. Obviously you are not even local, did not read the article nor should anyone pay attention to anything you have to say. Let me guess, you Googled "Printing Companies" and this article showed up. You saw the photo and instead of reading anything, you just looked at the "pretty picture", and made your decisions from that one look. Next time, look again.

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