By Lauren Bennett
Special to the Gazette
As cooler weather draws near, the Gazette checked in with Alia Hamada Forrest, executive director of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), to see what’s going on in Roslindale Village.
RVMS is a nonprofit that brings businesses, volunteers, and public agencies together to fortify the Roslindale Village community.
Forrest said that the farmers market that has been running all summer will continue until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. “After that, we turn into holiday mode,” she said.
There will be a tree lighting on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. This is the same day as Small Business Saturday, so Forrest said it will be a “big day for the local businesses.” People can sip hot chocolate and enjoy candy canes while they shop small in Roslindale.
On Dec. 6 from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Birch Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for a one-day holiday market. Forrest said the JP Honk Band will be there, as well as Roslindale Wants to Play, which will have activities for kids. She said that the local businesses tend to have special sales or treats. RVMS is still in “planning mode” for the holiday market, Forrest said, but since this is only the third one, it’s “still exciting.”
Forrest said there are three new businesses coming to Roslindale Village that are particularly exciting. The first is Distraction Brewing, which Forrest said would be Roslindale’s first brewery. She said it “has been in the works for quite a while,” and they have received their brewery license and their building permit. “If you pass that space, you’ll see work being done,” she said. Distraction Brewing hopes to open for business by the end of the year or early 2019, Forrest said, and will be located at 2 Belgrade Ave.
The second is Shaking Seafood, which is a Viet-Cajun style restaurant. Though it is not part of the Shaking Crab chain, Forrest said that it has a very similar concept. Seafood is steamed in a bag, then brought out to the table, where diners are given plastic gloves and a bib. This is “totally different than anything we’ve ever had before in the area,” Forrest said.
“They have been really committed,” she added, and have been working on it for about a year or a year and a half. She said the restaurant will hold 89 people inside a dining room that looks almost like the inside of a ship. There is a lot of wood and hanging rope lanterns to give it a nautical feel, Forrest said Shaking Seafood is also hoping to open by the end of the year on Poplar Street, right off of Adams Park in what used to be a furniture store.
The third new business is Square Root, which is a cafe that will offer coffee and pastries, as well as a co-working space, a performance venue, and beer and wine. “People are very, very excited to see that open,” Forrest said. She said they have gotten their beer and wine license as well as their Common Victualler License so they can serve food.
She added that they will probably get the entertainment license after they open, most likely for acoustic performers that consist of a guitarist and one microphone. They hope to open by the end of the year as well, and will be located in the old RVMS office at 2 Corinth Street.
“Everybody is just watching them and waiting,” Forrest said of the three new establishments. People pass by the buildings and see the work going on through the window, waiting for them to open up, she said.
As far as the Roslindale Substation goes, the space that once housed a beer garden now has a potential new tenant, according to Forrest. She said she could not provide specifics about who it is or how exactly the space will be used, but “we hope it is a place where people will gather,” she said. She said the property owner was inspired by the beer garden, and “would like to do something in the same vein, whether it’s beer or not.” She said they hope it will remain a space where people can gather and socialize. “It might happen but we just don’t know when,” Forrest said.
Lastly, for some Halloween fun, the Roslindale Branch Library and the farmers market are putting on a Dia de los Muertos costume parade. This Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10:00 a.m. at Adams Park, kids can come in costume and walk around the park before participating in activities outside at the park, weather permitting. Forrest said if it rains, the activities will most likely take place inside the library.
JP-based non-profit La Piñata will provide music for dancing, and after the activities, kids are invited inside the library to watch Pixar’s Coco.