Next Spring, Grab a Sandwich at an Old Restroom on Boston Common

You’ll be able to order a sandwich at the long-vacant public restroom on Boston Common come next spring. Sounds appetizing, no? Yesterday, the city parks department announced that Mayor Menino signed a 15-year lease with the Florida-based Earl of Sandwich to set up shop in the 660-square foot building (nicknamed the Pink Palace, for the shade of the masonry used in its construction in the 1920s). The restroom has been closed to the public since the 1970s and the expanding franchise — which currently has locations in four states, airports, Paris, and London — will rehab the historic space at its own expense.

“As we did so successfully with the Frog Pond, the City of Boston’s development of this site will bring positive activity to an underutilized part of the Common,” the mayor said in the statement. “We welcome Earl of Sandwich and look forward to a new casual dining option in the city as they transform the building into an entirely new use.”

And, why shouldn’t the nation’s oldest public park have a takeout restaurant? Central Park boasts several cafes and even full-service restaurants. And, closer to home, a fleet of food trucks has drawn crowds to the Rose Kennedy Greenway all summer long.

The Earl of Sandwich will serve up tuna melts and “Cannonballs!” (meatballs, mozzarella, Parmesan, and marinara sauce) — instant picnic. This could be the start of something good … a locally run restaurant or cafe or a Munich-style beer garden, anyone? Dream big.