Changes abound in business district

August 28, 2008
By

SANDRA STOREY

JP CENTER—Lots of changes are taking place or being requested in the Centre/South business district. Many of them were announced and discussed at the board meeting of the JP Business and Professional Association (BAPA) on Aug. 20. The license requests, which the BAPA board decided to support, will be on the agenda at the Sept.9 meeting of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Public Service Committee. Licensing Board hearings on the requests are scheduled for Sept. 10. [See JP Agenda.]

At the BAPA meeting, Kyle Robidoux from the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) reported that one of three major focuses to come out of the JP Neighborhood Summit in May and follow-up meetings is local business. Plans are being made to have a breakfast in early October so business people from all over JP can start working on ways to keep independent, locally owned businesses in the neighborhood, assuring the districts are “vibrant and diverse.”

Business people at the meeting expressed concern about landlords and commercial rents. Robidoux said he is doing research about what is being done regarding commercial properties around the country. “It’s important to reach out to landlords,” he said. “We have been discussing creating a notion of what it is to be a responsible landlord.” Emphasizing that JPNDC is itself a commercial landlord, he said, “We want to encourage our colleagues in the landlord business” to get involved.

• BAPA president Carlos Icaza said the executive committee authorized him to write a letter to the owner of the building with the vacant space at 676-678 Centre St. where FootLocker used to be to express the association’s desire to see the space rented to an independent, non-office type of business.

• Café D’s at 711 Centre St. is closed. Owner Douglas Organ said in an announcement sent to the Gazette on Aug. 20 that he would like to thank his “wonderful patrons for their support and making Café D a huge success.” He said he will soon announce a “new challenge” he is taking on that is “an ecologically conscious venture reminiscent of my California upbringing.” For updates, see www.cafeDboston.com.

Pankaj Rai Ghai said at the BAPA meeting he plans to open Gajal Indian Cuisine at the Café D location and take over the beer, wine and liqueurs license Café D had. The restaurant would be open from 11 to 11 every day, he said.

• The Alchemist at 435 S. Huntington Ave. is asking to extend its live entertainment license to cover Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It already has one for the other days of the week. Owners Relena Erskine and Lyndon Fuller said at the meeting that they want to have a trivia night, and any use of a microphone requires a license.

Erskine pointed out that Bella Luna/Milky Way nearby will move to The Brewery on Amory Street next March, and the Alchemist hopes to partly “fill the void” in entertainment. “We take everything neighbors tell us very seriously,” she said of comments they get.

• Maria’s Hair Fashion had its grand re-opening celebration at 138 South St. on Aug. 24.

• Centre Street Family Dental has opened at 729 Centre St. where Boing! JP’s Toy Shop used to be before it moved down the street. The dentist’s name there is Elizabeth Guo.

• The CD store, Mud Dog Media Company, that replaced CD Spins at 688 Centre St. next to recently opened City Feed and Supply, has closed.

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