Café planned near Green St. T Station

January 18, 2013
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A new cafe and bakery operated by a Jamaica Plain resident is planned for the Bartlett Square building at 154 Green St., diagonally across Amory Street from the Green Street T Station.

Phil Peterson told the Gazette he hopes to be open by June 1 and was scheduled to hold an informal community meeting on Jan. 16, after the Gazette deadline, to introduce himself and his plans.

What is the name of the proposed cafe? “That’s the million-dollar question,” Peterson said, adding that he’s still mulling possibilities and is open to suggestions.

The cafe would sell soups, sandwiches, ice cream, coffee, pastries and some prepared food to go. It also would have a limited selection of retail items such as produce and condiments. Peterson said he aims to use locally and regionally sourced foods as much as possible.

Peterson will seek to have indoor seating for about 60 patrons and about 50 more seats on the outdoor patio. He also plans to hold grilling nights or other “community-centered events” for the general public on the patio.

He said that he and landlord Chris DeSisto “both want to use the patio as a neighborhood event gathering space.”

Peterson, who lives nearby on Forest Hills Street, previously managed a Hi-Rise Bread Company location in Cambridge. He currently works in food wholesaling and distribution. His wife, Tania Peterson, is a pastry chef who was a contestant on the reality TV show “Top Chef: Just Desserts” in 2010. She will be involved in creating the pastry menu.

DeSisto, a JP resident, recently developed the formerly vacant lot at Green and Amory streets into the Bartlett Square building, which has condos upstairs and retail space on the ground floor. A Pilates exercise business recently opened in another of the storefronts, and a third is still awaiting a tenant.

DeSisto said he got a lot of interest from national chains for the key corner space. They included Domino’s Pizza, which twice has been driven from potential JP locations by protests from locals who prefer independent, local businesses. DeSisto said no to Domino’s, explaining, “I know how Jamaica Plain is. I don’t want to be a pariah.”

Going with a local start-up is a bigger financial risk, but fits JP’s desire for “iconic” local businesses, DeSisto said.

Phil Peterson said he is in the early stages and has not yet applied for any licenses or zoning variances.

 

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