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We Catch Up with Local Leaders for Boston Common's 15th Anniversary

By Michael McCarthy | September 23, 2020 | Feature

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BRIAN GULLBRANTS
PRESIDENT, Encore Boston Harbor, encorebostonharbor.com

“I love Boston because it’s a major metropolis with a small-town charm and a huge heart. From the North End to Fenway, you can pass through our rich history, enjoy the public garden and even bump into someone you know. My wife and I love living in the North End. We live in a real neighborhood, with real people who actually know each other by name and care for one another. At Wynn Resorts, we say only people make people happy. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Changes in the past 15 years in our industry include technology—bedside control iPads, voice activation Alexa units, proximity RFID technology, electronic table games, online betting and online reservations for everything. The formality of travel and luxury also has relaxed. Luxury is now more comfortable and certainly more focused on your own personal experience and your privacy. Your experience, the way you want it.”

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ANGELA PERI
CO-OWNER & CASTING DIRECTOR, Boston Casting Inc., bostoncasting.com

“I love Boston because of its history—and my own family’s history. My great-grandparents came to Boston 125 years ago from Italy, and as they would say, ‘We landed, we stayed and we conquered.’ Boston is where I built my business. We have a database of 75,000 people. Biggest changes in 15 years? The Waterfront was like no man’s land; I can remember four restaurants there, The No Name, Pier 4, Jimmy’s and The Daily Catch. Now... it’s fabulous! It’s well appointed and cheerful. It has ice skating, The Harbor Walk, grass for picnics and play space. The Seaport has really opened up options for Bostonians. This is a city where you can actually catch a play, hit a museum and head to a sporting event, all in the same day. [Post- COVID], I know this will pick up where it left off and continue growing. I can’t miss anything happening in town—and Boston Common has always shown me what to wear, where to go, where to eat, what to order and how to decorate my house!”

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CHRIS HIMMEL
PRESIDENT/OWNER, Himmel Hospitality Group, grill23.com

“I’ve always appreciated the small- town feel, as well as the honesty of our people who, for better or worse, have always been unafraid to tell it like it is. Biggest changes in the past 15 years in the restaurant industry [besides COVID-19] include the evolution of the chef to celebrity status, the movement of our industry toward seasonality and sourcing locally whenever most sensible, and the sheer amount of competition we’ve seen from small, chef-owned neighborhood joints to the many large, chain establishments that have come and gone throughout the years. [As a city], the changes include Boston’s residential, business, restaurant and retail epicenters spread from primarily the Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Financial Districts to areas like the South End, Southie and Fenway. And other areas are starting to develop their own new identities, such as Fort Point Channel, the Seaport or even metro Boston areas like Somerville, Dorchester and Everett. I’ve always appreciated Boston Common magazine’s ability to keep residents and visitors on the cutting edge of style, fashion and entertainment. Years ago, I fondly remember being interviewed by the magazine about running the family business—it helped instill in me the confidence I needed at such a young age to take on the challenge of leading our restaurant teams.”



Photography by: From top, photo: courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor; By Ellen Sargent Korsh; By David Salafia. Cover photo by Artem Sapegin/Unsplash