JPA approves outdoor dining

May 11, 2007
By

LOU MANCINELLI

A new restaurant patio is coming to Jamaica Plain as neighborhood organizers and businesses in the business district continue to renew its look.

The Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) voted not to oppose a request by the owner’s of the Alchemist Lounge to create an outdoor patio to seat over 50 patrons, at its monthly meeting Monday night at the Rogerson house.

A 13-table, 52-person patio could soon sit in front of the Alchemist Lounge, located at the corner of Centre Street and S. Huntington Avenue. The JPA voted 13-0-1 not to oppose the creation of a 14-by-50-foot patio, set back 9.5 feet from the curb with three provisos: the patio be completely cleared by 10 p.m.; the owners submit a plan in writing for review to the JPA board to keep the Moraine Street side of the building clean; and the Dumpster be enclosed by August 15.

“Our goal is to make this very eye-appealing,” said Relana Erskine, one of the restaurant’s four owners. She said the patio could open by June. It still needs to be approved by the Boston Licensing Board.

There was no community opposition to the proposal and over 10 community members praised the Alchemist and voiced their support for an outdoor seating area.

The main concerns raised by board members were how parking on Moraine Street and occupancy would be affected, as well as trash on the Moraine Street side of the restaurant.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” said S. Huntington Avenue resident John Woodard. “It adds to that section to bring something like this, you don’t see it much on Centre Street.”

According to Erskine, the patio will be enclosed by a barrier of cement planners that will hold fresh herbs and seasonal flowers, and be connected by decorative chains. Some of the tables will be topped with umbrellas, and candles will burn on the tables at night. Smoking will not be allowed at the tables, and alcohol will be served—if the owners can get an amendment to their liquor license—but drinks must stay at the table.

“I think a patio is something missing in JP,” said Centre Street Café owner Felicia Sanchez. “I’d be totally psyched, even though, technically, they are the competition.”

“I’ve never had a parking issue ever,” said Moraine Street resident Trina Heinisch. Heinisch said a lot of the houses on Moraine Street have private driveways, and she lived with five roommates who all had cars and parking did not cause a problem.

“The place needs a new face,” said Bud Booth, who has lived in JP for over 15 years. “There was nothing wrong with the Harleys, but it’ll be much nicer to walk out and go up 100 feet and have a nice meal in the sun,” he said, referring to the strip of Harley motorcycles that used to park in front of Triple D’s, before the Alchemist took over the spot.

“There is a new fresh look on Centre Street,” said Neighbors for Neighbors director Joseph Porcelli. “A patio could add to the aesthetic experience.”

Best of JP 2014