updated 10/20/2011 3:25:25 PM ET 2011-10-20T19:25:25

A former bathroom in the nation's oldest public park is being converted into a sandwich shop.

The 660-square-foot Pink Palace restroom was built on Boston Common in the 1920s. It hasn't been used as a restroom since the 1970s.

Boston officials announced Wednesday that Mayor Thomas Menino signed a 15-year lease with the Orlando, Fla.-based Earl of Sandwich chain for a takeout operation at the site.

Earl of Sandwich will pay $50,000 annually. It will renovate the interior of the mausoleum-like structure for use as a kitchen, with storage and prep areas.

The goal is to open the shop as early as next spring.

The Boston Common was set aside as public land in 1640. The restroom is called the Pink Palace because of the pinkish hue of its masonry.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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