Friday, August 21, 2015

Building Housing Karoun in Newtonville May Be Demolished to Make Way for New Development

A restaurant in Newton that has been in business for nearly 40 years may lose its home to a proposed mixed-use development.

The Boston Globe is reporting that plans are being made to demolish an entire block of buildings (known as the Orr Block) at the corner of Washington Street and Walnut Street in the Newtonville section of the city, with Karoun Restaurant being in one of the eight buildings that could be affected. The article says that a demolition application has already been filed with the Newton Historical Commission, with the commission having the power to delay the razing of the building for 12 months depending on several factors. (The structures can be taken down at the end of the 12 months, however.) Development plans will probably include new housing with retail space on the ground floor, and a combination of underground and above-ground parking, according to the article.

It is not yet known what the future holds for Karoun, as the Globe says it is too early in the process to determine whether businesses will be able to lease space within the new complex.

[February 9, 2016 update: The Newton Tab states that the developer looking to demolish several Newtonville buildings--including the home of Karoun--to make way for new residential and commercial space will present the project's plans to the Newtonville Area Council as well as the three city councilors from Ward 2 this Thursday (February 11).]

[May 18, 2016 update: A new article in the Newton TAB mentions that plans have now been filed for a five-story mixed-use complex that would replace the existing buildings in the Orr Block, including Karoun. with construction beginning in the spring of 2017 pending a Land Use Committee hearing on June 7 and further discussions that could go through the late fall.]

[November 23, 2016 update: A post from shows new renderings of the proposed mixed-use development that would go into the space where Karoun and other businesses currently reside. It is still not known what might happen to the restaurant if the project is approved; as soon as we get more information, we will post another update here.]

Karoun first opened on Newbury Street in the Back Bay in 1977, moving to its present home in Newtonville a couple of years later. It is one of the few Armenian restaurants located in the Boston area.

The address for Karoun is 839 Washington Street, Newton, MA, 02460. Its website can be found at

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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