Audrey's Pet Supply and Services will be closing because it can't afford the 133 percent rent increase its landlord demanded, according to Brittany Bang, Audrey's owner.
The new tenant at 296 Newbury St. will be Yogurtland, a California-based frozen yogurt shop, Bang said. Yogurtland has 190 shops throughout the U.S., Guam and Mexico, and the Newbury Street shop would be its first in New England, according to its website.
March, three months shy of their third anniversary.
In a letter posted on Facebook, Bang said she is not only said for Audrey's but she is also concerned about the changing character of the Back Bay.
"I know I am emotionally invested in this issue but it is because I not only work in the Back Bay but also live here. It is just as important for me to educate and help people understand the importance of keeping the Back Bay (especially Newbury Street) special and unique. If Newbury Street continues to make it too challenging for small business it will affect our neighborhood and tourism alike. I don't want Newbury Street to turn into another strip mall and SEVERAL small business owners and residents feel this is the new direction," she told Patch.
Bang tried to save Audrey's by offering a 38 percent rent increase but was unsuccessful, she said.
Since announcement Friday, Bang has received condolences and expressions of support from many in the Back Bay community. "I have been humbled by the outcry of support for our store since we made our announcement," she told Patch. In a Facebook status update Saturday she thanked her friends and customers:
"I cannot even begin to thank you all for your words of support. We are overwhelmed and you have inspired us to not go down quietly. Audrey's at 296 Newbury Street cannot be saved (again, already rented to yet another Greek yogurt concept) but we can still find creative ways to educate and change our local community."