Café/bar coming to Arboretum Place

FOREST HILLS—A 700-square-foot café and bar is planned to open in April at Arboretum Place.

The “Simpli Café” would be owned and managed by Jamaica Plain-based WCI Corp., which is the developer of the Washington Street site. It will be WCI’s first foray into owning a restaurant or café, though employees and owner Kevin Walker’s sister have previous experience in food service.

“This looks like a great opportunity for us,” Walker said at a JP Business and Professional Association (JP BAPA) meeting last week.

The 49-seat café is proposed to open at 5:30 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. and is expected to offer pastries, sandwiches, coffees and teas, beer and liquor.

Walker explained that the café is partially modeled on European cafés, where customers can get a sandwich and a beer, or stop in for a cocktail in the evening.

Walker is also planning on purposefully excluding a television from the décor.

Arboretum Place will include retail and office space for a total of a little over 34,000 square feet, including a 9,000 square foot new Harvest Co-op Market. It will also feature semi-public “pocket parks,” landscaped open space, on its Washington Street and Ukraine Way location. The café would be located in the east building.

JP BAPA members voted to support the development of the café, even though it was not required of them. Walker must still secure a liquor license and undergo the City’s review process.

The development is 90 percent leased, Walker said, and soon-to-be tenants include Summer Search and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which are relocating from elsewhere in JP, and the Boston Cat Hospital, which will relocate from Beacon Street in the Fenway.

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