By  on December 14, 2009

BOSTON — Bucking the trend of major U.S. shopping streets becoming “mall-ized,” Newbury Street here is getting quirkier as big chains close underperforming units and independent designers move in.

The space at 201 Newbury Street, for example, was a Gap store last year: classic white walls, steel fixtures and folded basics. Now it’s a Ted Baker boutique decorated in a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme with fake ivy climbing the walls, dressing rooms draped in cognac velvet and tea served in gilded cups out of the stockroom. One block east, another mall stalwart, Pottery Barn, is vacating a 7,000- square-foot store while Jonathan Adler, whose take on housewares (breast vases, needlepoint backgammon boards) is irreverent, opened across the street in November.

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