Restaurant Openings

Look Inside Trader Joe’s New Allston Location

The new location near Harvard University carries the grocery chain's cheap wine, beer, and liquor.
A Harvard-centric mural at Trader Joe's Allston

A Harvard-centric mural at Trader Joe’s Allston. / Photos provided

Allstonians’ one-stop-shop for imported cheeses, fresh produce and flowers, cookie butter, earth-friendly cosmetics, and cheap booze opens this week. Trader Joe’s debuts its 20th Massachusetts location on the corner of Western Ave. and North Harvard Street this Thursday, Oct. 12.

The 13,000-square foot store anchors the Continuum apartment building, Allston’s first luxury towers. It’s the first retail amenity to open at the Samuels & Associates development, which started welcoming residential tenants late in 2015. The Parlor Ice Cream Co. popped up outside the building throughout August and September, and Our Father’s Deli, a new venture from the Franklin Restaurant Group, is in the works there, too.

The building offers garage parking, with about 100, underground spaces designated for the grocery store. Follow the signs, and grab a ticket for Trader Joe’s to validate. There are also street spots, if you’re lucky. It’s on the 86 bus line, as well.

This is Trader Joe’s second location in Boston proper, though the California-based chain has locations in Brookline, on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, at Assembly Row in Somerville, and elsewhere in the region. The Allston location carries the full range of the quirky chain’s low-cost groceries, including private-label beer, wine, and spirits. It also features Harvard-centric art in TJ’s style—who else is excited for the “Herd of the Charles?”

Because Mass. law stipulates that one company cannot hold more than seven liquor licenses, Trader Joe’s traded in Memorial Drive’s booze card in favor of a packie inside the Allston location. The Harvard Crimson noted last month that though the Cambridge outpost is frequented by the student set, this should be a fine compromise: The university’s long-awaited expansion of its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, rising up in Lower Allston, is well underway.

Trader Joe’s opens at 9 a.m. on October 12. Get there 15 minutes early to catch a celebratory grand opening ceremony. Going forward, it’s open daily from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. (though liquor sales start at noon on Sundays).

199 North Harvard St., Boston, 617-787-1238, traderjoes.com.

Trader Joe's at the Continuum building in Allston

Trader Joe’s at the Continuum building in Allston. / photos provided

A Harvard-centric mural at Trader Joe's Allston

A Harvard-centric mural at Trader Joe’s Allston. / Photos provided

Trader Joe's Allston

Trader Joe’s Allston photos provided

Trader Joe's Allston

The Herd of the Charles is one Harvard-centric mural at Trader Joe’s Allston. / Photos provided

Trader Joe's Allston

Trader Joe’s Allston photos provided

Trader Joe’s Allston photos provided


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com