The Gazette recently checked-in with Alia Hamada Forrest, executive director of Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), about happenings in the district, which include the upcoming start of the farmers market and potential new businesses opening up in the village.
RVMS is an independent nonprofit that aims to bring together local volunteers, businesses, and public agencies to strengthen Roslindale Village economically and aesthetically.
Forrest said that the farmers market is set to return on June 2 at Adams Park. She said it will run every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. until the Saturday before Thanksgiving and will have free music and free children entertainment. Forrest said a special feature this year will be that for four Saturdays in June, a portion of Birch Street will be closed and they will have Wildpops (a popsicle business) and the Jamaica Mi Hungry food truck there.
“We’re hoping to have beautiful opening day. We’re normally do,” said Forrest.
She said they are looking to make the market “bigger and better” this year.
Forrest said two vacancies are looking to be filled soon. The first is at a former bank at 2 Belgrade Ave. She said that Distraction Brewing is planning to move in there with a tap room and brewing operation.
The second vacancy is RVMS former location at 2 Corinth St. Forrest said a yet-to-be-named coffee and performance venue is planning to open there. She said the owners just had their first public meeting to get their beer and wine license and will still need to get their entertainment license. They plan to have rock music at the venue and bring in a younger crowd to the community.
Rozzie square recently was repaved with several new crosswalks added. Forrest said that prior to the repaving, City officials had a walk-around with the transit advocate group WalkUp Roslindale who pointed out problems areas and that the City officials were “very responsive.” She said the project went “super fast” and now roads are “flat, dark, and sublime.”
“It’s painful while it happened, but local businesses were really impressed how fast the project was completed,” she said.
The project took three days to be completed.
The Roslindale Substation in Rozzie Square has been undergoing a revitalization that has been many years in the making. The substation was originally built to house transformers to turn AC power into DC for streetcars and has been vacant since 1971. It has been the focus of numerous proposed renovation projects over the years, before construction finally begin on it in 2014. A craft beer store is in the cellar and a restaurant was planned for the main space, but plans for that fell through.
Recently, the Trillium Beer Company had a beer garden in the main space, which Forrest said was “so cool” and was like a “community igloo.” With the beer garden now closed, she said the developer for the substation is hoping to get a business with a similar vibe in there on a permanent bases.
In the meantime, the Roslindale Wants to Play is looking to have another pop-up event at the space in either late May or early June.