The group looking to open a community-owned bar at the site of the former James’s Gate restaurant will hold a public information session this Thursday.
The James’s Gate Cooperative group will meet Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Farnsworth House (90 South St.) after the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) holds its Development 101 Workshop at 6 p.m.
A website dedicated to the James’s Gate Cooperative explains its motivation and purpose: “The motivation is not just about a bar, but rather the formation of a cooperatively owned and managed establishment that strives to uphold values of democracy, equality, self-responsibility, solidarity, and the formation of a sense of pride and place in one’s community. A bar, and more specifically a community-owned cooperative bar, is simply an ideal vehicle for doing so.”
There also could be space for a restaurant/bar at the site. Developer Stephen Ballas of Jamaica Plain, has proposed a five-story mixed-use development at the site called The Gate. The ground level would have commercial space, which could be used for a restaurant/bar. The upper floors would be dedicated to 11 residential units.
The Cooperative’s website said an annual membership fee would make members owners of the bar and entitle members to a vote on how the space would be managed. All owners would have equal votes.
“As a cooperative, this is not about money; it is about empowering and nurturing our community. It is about providing the community with a safe, open, and inclusive space that upholds the values of the community, and will be so much more than just a bar,” states the website. “In a society all too often plagued by apathy, hatred, anger, inequality, and misunderstanding, the James’s Gate Cooperative is a small but tangible step to address these issues through both a cooperative business model and the merriment of community.”