Including yesterday’s Boston Globe front page piece:
Restoration Hardware has buzz, goods, but no permit
On March 5, Gary Friedman, the silver-haired CEO emeritus of Restoration Hardware, was warned that a party in Boston the next night to celebrate the opening of his enormous store could get seriously overcrowded.
“We can ask for forgiveness [afterward],” he told the group, according to people who were there.
Friedman denies saying that, but 24 hours later, police and fire officials were indeed summoned to the former Louis Boston building at 234 Berkeley St. to block a horde of smartly dressed men and women trying to shoehorn themselves through the store’s gaping steel-and-glass doors.
Now, forgiveness isn’t all Friedman needs. The 40,000-square-foot home goods store selling $279 duvet covers and $895 riveted mesh chandeliers still doesn’t have an occupancy permit. Even after the over-the-top party and a photo-op ribbon-cutting, the lavish store in the heart of the trendy Newbury Street shopping district isn’t open. And it’s not clear when it will be.
It was nearly two years ago that Restoration Hardware — now branded simply as RH — announced plans to move into the historic Berkeley Street building, the 150-year-old former home of the New England Museum of Natural History and, more recently, the luxury emporium Louis Boston.
That’s the keystroke version of “the historic Berkeley Street building,” repeated in the Boston Herald’s coverage:
The party, to celebrate the opening of the new Restoration Hardware, an upscale furniture and fixture boutique in the old Louis Boston building, quickly became the hottest ticket of the year.
What both papers have missed are the glory years of the historic Berkeley Street building when it was occupied – beautifully – by Bonwit Teller.
The Louis Boston renovation was an abomination, and the hardreading staff – which was decidedly not invited to the Restoration Hardware meltdown – doubts the latest incarnation is much better.
But, as the historic Berkeley Street building is repeatedly demeaned, let’s at least remember when it was historically honored.