I am one of the those residents of Jamaica Plain who prefers that chains not make a home on Centre Street. I lament the imminent passing of Videosmith, an establishment that I have patronized ever since I moved to Jamaica Plain six years ago.
Now that the threat of D’Angelo’s is behind us, let us hope that whoever the new tenant is will be an independent business that will contribute harmoniously to Centre Street and the Jamaica Plain community. We have many fine, long-established shops and eateries there. It is specifically eateries that would have felt the squeeze from a D’Angelo’s.
I am a loyal patron of Same Old Place. I have been going there since my first days in Jamaica Plain. It is homey and welcoming. The people there treat me as a friend. A chain like D’Angelo’s would have had a deleterious effect on the eateries on Centre Street like Same Old Place. Centre Street has character—character that comes from establishments like Same Old Place, where the people know you and are always happy to see you. That has been my experience; I am sure it is the experience of others, too.
Places like Same Old Place are an asset to the community, the community it welcomes every day. While the threat of a chain was still looming over Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, the character that is a hallmark of it was in jeopardy.