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Controversial JP coffeehouse could get license this week

Caffe Nero could get a food-serving license for an outlet on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain on Thursday, although the mayor's office is seeking a delay in any licensing until after chain officials meet with the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council's public-service committee next week.

Some neighborhood groups have given their backing to the proposed cafe next to Blanchard's, but the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association is fighting the plan because they fear it would be the beginning of a tide of national chains overflowing the neighborhood.

The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether to grant or deny a food serving license - or to defer action until after the council public-service meeting on Nov. 4.

Michael Reiskind, chairman of the neighborhood council's public-service committee, told the board today that "there is a big split in the community" over the proposed cafe. In addition to the chain issue, some residents are also concerned that JP's cup of cafes is running over, because there are already 5 or 7 of them, he said.

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Comments

The clowns at the JPNC are such a joke.

Too bad they claim to represent the silent, non-delusional majority in JP

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No one on the JPNC received more than 157 votes, most of them only got two digits:
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/jamaica_plain/2013/10/new_members_pi...

No one in JP cares what they think. We didn't vote in that election because the JPNC isn't relevant.

Seriously, Mayor, I know you didn't win JP but if you're looking for guidance in this part of the city talk to your neighborhood coordinator, not this bunch of wannabes.

If the neighborhood doesn't support this business it will fold for lack if customers.

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It is a chain, AFAIK there is a grand total of one Caffe Nero in the US, the one on Washington Street downtown. The rest are all outside the US.

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Currently, the company runs more than 600 shops

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...by my count, they have 544 locations in the UK. Their location on Washington Street in Boston was their first US location -- it opened about five months ago. Are you aware of another 599 US locations that opened in the meanwhile, or shall we just take it as read that this is not, in fact, a major chain threatening the character and integrity of JP?

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Let me help - no, this has zero to do with threatening the 'integrity' of JP.

It a a coffee shop.

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There isn't a 'big split' in the community.

I'll be glad when Caffé Nero opens.

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All the same, I'd rather see something else. Enough to get my dander up? No. My dander is tired.

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some residents are also concerned that JP's cup of cafes is running over, because there are already 5 or 7 of them

I've seen this kind of thing in LA. The kids get all hopped up on caffeine and spend innumerable hours trying to write screenplays. What a tragic waste.

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But this sorta shit is just maddening. Do they not see the Dunkins two doors down? That thing is an eyesore and serves shitty coffee. And did we really need a Goodwill to compete with our homegrown Boomerangs? The faux-rage is selective.

And the JPNC is just useless. They don't represent most JPers point of view on nearly all matters. I don't think I've once agreed with their idiocy.

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The space is next door to Blanchards, a chain constrained only by laws limiting the number of licenses a company can have to see alcoholic beverages to be consumed elsewhere.

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but in reality I think it's been great having them so close to each other. I never go to one without going to the other and I don't see that Boomerang's business has suffered at all. It's counterintuitive but I think that having a cluster actually makes them more of a destination.

Re Caffe Nero--I think there's room for it. There are other businesses I'd rather see on Centre--doughnuts, good Mexican, Chinese food...did I say doughnuts?--but I don't see it tearing asunder the fabric of the neighborhood.

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I second the donut idea, especially something homegrown like Union Square Donuts (their sea salt bourbon caramel donut, omg). DD's donuts are too cakey and I do not get the hype behind Krispy Kreme at. all. If a little donut shop opened up in JP, they would definitely get my money.

Personally, I'd love a ramen place. Don't care how "trendy" it is; ramen is very comforting, especially as the weather gets cooler. That's what I was hoping Noodle Barn was going to turn out to be, but alas, it is not.

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Somewhere we can get a really lovely crafted cocktail? Canary Square just doesn't cut it for me. And while I love the Behan it's really a beer joint. Oh- and Backbar does ramen a couple nights a week. This should happen. Immediately. ;-)

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Do they not see the Dunkins two doors down? That thing is an eyesore and serves shitty coffee.

But I bet it's busy

Just sayin'

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someone would open a place that served actual doughnuts! You know--crispy, freshly made, not coated in eight layers of goo. With coffee. Real strong actual coffee.

Sorry--this is a bit of an obsession with me. I really do NOT need good doughnuts within walking distance--bad idea!

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someone would open a place that served actual doughnuts! You know--crispy, freshly made, not coated in eight layers of goo.

This can't happen because of the rents. Look at any place that's selling freshly made real do(ugh)nuts. It's either a very simple establishment selling them for around a buck apiece or less, or it's a fancypants establishment selling them for four bucks a go. The former can't afford city rents, and the latter tend to fail because the whole proposition is absurd.

tl;dr: this is why city people can't have nice doughnuts.

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Very tight margins, very hard work. But obviously there are a few places in JP making it work. The high rents are a problem for any business, especially small independent ones, especially when you have creepy landlords who'd rather keep a place empty for years rather than charge a lower rent.

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There's a Dunkin Donuts just down the street from Kane's in Saugus, and another surviving quite well in Union Square. Even if you got a USD or Kane's clone in JP, I doubt it would drive Dunkin out of your neighborhood.

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with the OG JP townie/working man crowd. It's the JP landed gentry and lattes crowd that are taking to the streets, so to speak, over Caffe Nero.

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There are 3 Dunkins within a mile and a half on Centre. The new coffee shop on Pond is small with seating for about 10 people. That leaves JP Licks and City Feed in the immediate area. A little competition would be good. The JPNC is a joke. The two abutting neighborhood associations approved Caffe Nero. I hope the licensing board does the right thing.

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Roslindale Main Streets is not the equivalent to the JPNDC, right? How can something exist with a semi-official function in one neighborhood without that same body existing in other parts of town? It's mind-boggling.

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Roslindale Main Streets ( yes, I avoid the V word) is basically a not for profit corporation that works on the betterment of the Main Street area. It was the first in Boston, and one of the first in the U.S. Essentially, they look to develop business in the area.

The other thing is an elected council that meets over development proposals. Honestly, they seem one step up from a neighborhood association. That said, you've read about that neighborhood association in Allston whose exact name escapes me.

I might have the exact details of R(V)MS wrong, but they are not a neighborhood group as people tend to think of these things.

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How can this elected board exist and have some small degree of power in JP and then there is no equivalent in Roslindale or WR? This is the kind of inefficiency I'd love to see rooted out of local government.

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I cannot think of another body in Boston set up like this.

A lot of development goes through vetting processes with neighborhood groups. To be honest, on the surface this would be a good deal for businesses, since, if you can claim support of a group, theoretically your desire to do whatever (build a building, open a business, stay open later, and so on) would be easier. Unfortunately, the reality in Boston is that such groups tend to be the ones who are opposed to anything new, as they by their very nature represent the old guard. Hence, when Brooks Pharmacy wanted to go into the Ashmont building in Roslindale, the groups that they would need the support of were full of friends of Sullivan's Pharmacy and thereby were opposed to the competition (ignoring, of course, that chain pharmacies have a different M.O. than places like Sullivan's.)

You want something to blow your mind. You know Roslindale Main Streets. Well, there is also the Roslindale Board of Trade, which is a completely different thing. Below that are the neighborhood associations like Longfellow and Prospect Hill. However, there is nothing neighborhood wide.

So, if you want something like the JPNC, advocate for it. To be honest, while it is rightly mocked, it is still better than the Allston Civic Association (I think that's the one.) At least they are "elected."

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That's what I thought. It confirms (to me) that things like the JPNC should just be abolished. Rosi, WR, Roxbury, Hyde Park, etc... all have existing local businesses without this extra layer of BS. Why make business owners in JP deal with this nonsense?

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JPN Council is not the same as

JPN Development Corporation

BIG difference.

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Not really. Their philosophies are virtually identical, and where you find one, you will most likely find the other.

The JPNDC just has the ability to do more damage than the JPNC. I've seen it first hand.

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...you gotta point, though, building and maintaining affordable housing for elders throughout JP is really gauche, or rehabbing the haffenreffer and giving bela luna a new home, what were they thinking? or partnering to realize positive change in jackson square, how could anyone get behind THAT? do they step on toes: they wouldn't be doing their job as a CDC if they didn't.... but to confuse one with the other is a tad disingenous..IMHO, based on first hand experience.

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...would "coffee house" and "controversial" show up in the same headline...

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Compare Boston City Council
https://www.facebook.com/notes/michelle-wu/boston-city-council-meeting-o...

and Cambridge City Council
http://rwinters.com/council/index.html

Minutes of the most recent Public Meeting of the Boston Elections Commission available by request at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=33

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IMAGE( <a href="http://i.imgur.com/EDFd4c0.jpg">http://i.imgur.com/EDFd4c0.jpg</a> )

Seriously, though. There are a lot of JP residents posting on UHub. If any of you ever announces your candidacy, and promises not to be an obstructionist jerkwad, you'll have my vote. These clowns get elected with double-digit vote totals; we ought to be able to beat that. Hell, I'll throw my own hat in the ring if I have to, but I suspect I'd be summarily impeached after the first council meeting where I just repeatedly interrupt the proceedings to ask if I can buy their votes for the same price as they go for on the open market.

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Jk. But various friends and neighbors have mentioned this idea--still, no one relishes being the only non-obstructionist jerkwad sitting at the table. I may be conflating the JPNC with the goofball "JP Egalitarians" who keeping flyering the neighborhood with signs talking about how they'll "allow" doctors and scientists to live in the neighborhood but only if blah blah blah, but I do think there's some significant overlap.

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Oh god, the egalitarians. I saw their fliers posted outside of Harvest a few weeks back, and had a ten-minute argument with my wife over whether it was elaborate performance art. Because NO ONE could possibly be that tone-deaf and shrill, and if they were, they probably live in Beacon Hill with fake IDs while studying on their parents' dime.

I lost.

For people who saw it happen: was it like this when Somerville went mainstream? Or is JP-ification its own thing?

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Only in JP would a coffee house be 'controversial'.

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I wish you were right about that. Even if you were, say, only right on every third Thursday.

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Why is there so much animosity towards JP on Uhub when the residents push back against chains when similar battles go on in Roslindale and other parts of the city and people here seem much more supportive?

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Heck, I cannot even remember the other Roslindale Uhubbers who think the whole "keep chains out of Roslindale" thing is a crock. Vaughan K I think is another. I don't want to speak for others, but seriously, look at the posts on the impending apocalypse of whoever coming to Roslindale. I think kvn did an interesting history of the chain stores that once lined Corinth Street. Don't want to walk that far? See Ashmont Discount above.

However, me being an old school townie, I ascribe stereotypical origins to the anti-chainers in Rozzie. Of course, the pro-chainers in JP (and Kerpan being an anti-chainer non-JPer) make me rethink my view of the stereotype.

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Staples near RV -- and having CVS close at hand. I wasn't even bent out of shape by Subway (though I won't ever go there to eat, not my sort of meal-time destination). It's just that I vastly prefer local businesses, whose owners I actually know and like. ;-}

(Well -- I think Domino's is pretty sucky -- I would rather have had the BBQ place reopen).

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You make a good case for the local businesses (unfortunately, I have to deal with T-Bros today. Nothing against them, just, it was unexpected as always)

Still, how could the anon not see the comments up the wazoo when it is about the goings on at the Square?

(My love of Domino's is what makes it good I don't use my real name here, but the spices are addictive. We did have Romano's a few weeks back. That's a large large pizza. Still, the BBQ place was good.)

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... which leads one to urgently need the aid of T Bros. But they always seem to be ready to answer the call. I wish I had the money to deal with them purely voluntarily -- like a complete re-do of our antiquated bathroom. ;~}

The really great BBQ place was on the other side of Roslindale Square (at or near where the Hong Kong something or other is now).

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Crikey, JP seems like a pain in the arse! Are the seating areas in the existing coffee shops usually full? If yes, then JP could use another coffee shop. It's not an empty bank branch with 5 ATM's. Now that I can see people being riled up over.

Reminds me of the uproar when Whole Foods wanted to open a grocery store in JP.... omg, I'm quivering in my boots! I don't like fruits and vegetables from local farmers and quinoa frightens me!

Please. Other neighborhoods would LOVE to have these problems.

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Reminds me of the uproar when Whole Foods wanted to open a grocery store in JP.... omg, I'm quivering in my boots! I don't like fruits and vegetables from local farmers and quinoa frightens me!

The issue was with what the Whole Foods is replacing. You get points for your greek chorus dramatization, but lose more points for accuracy, because of course the objections had nothing to do with objections to local produce or fears of quinoa. You knew that before you posted, but you may have been ignorant of the real issue.

At the other end of Centre Street are some of my favorite eats, including Yely's and Alex's, which I hope never gets priced out of the neighborhood. Pupusa Guanaca is already gone...

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LOL. There was no issue. I've seen many of the morons who were "protesting" against Whole Foods in that very store.

Issue du jour, that's what these blowhards follow.

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Hi-Lo wanted to sell to Whole Foods and they did as is their right. How is that WF's fault? The community cared more about Hi-Lo than Hi-Lo cared about the community.

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