Don’t Run Away to Join the Circus: Take Classes at JP’s Commonwealth Circus Center

Many people may not be aware there's a place in Jamaica Plain that you can practice superhuman feats -- the Commonwealth Circus Center. Co-founder/co-manager/co-owner Steve Minnihan answered questions about the circus, what classes are like and whether knife throwing is taught (spoiler: it's not). Q: What is the Commonwealth Circus Center? Minnihan: Commonwealth Circus Center (C3) is a recreational circus arts studio for youth and adults. Our mission at Commonwealth is to build an inclusive community where students of any age, experience level, and ability come together to learn self expression, movement arts, and healthy risk-taking through the joy of circus!

Diane Ivey, right, and Jessica Bucci "yarn-bombed" the sign at the Eliot School on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Eliot School Exploring Possible Expansion and Renovation; Community Input Wanted

I’m pleased to let you know that a panel of trustees has selected designLAB architects to create a feasibility study to explore the possibility of renovating and expanding the Eliot School. A panel of trustees chose designLAB from a pool of nearly 30 interested firms. Selection criteria included experience creating spaces for making and learning, additions to historic structures, innovation, thoughtful landscape design, environmental sustainability and an inclusive visioning process. The firm will develop a range of scenarios for the Eliot Street site and possible alternative locations. Each option will include cost estimates and plans for phasing construction to accommodate ongoing programming. This is the first step in what will be an extensive process that we hope will lead to more adequate space for the school, including access for the disabled.

Sushi Restaurant Kamado Closed; New Asian Soup Restaurant on Horizon

Only time will tell if Jamaica Plain can support two sushi restaurants. What is known is  that we're down to one after the Kamado restaurant closed on Centre Street. The Kamado Super Fusion restaurant went through several changes in recent years, including changing management and a name change. Earlier this week the windows were covered with brown paper and a sign on the door said the business closed on Nov. 21.

Café Beirut Needs Your Help with Rent After Thousands Stolen

Jamaica Plain restaurant Café Beirut is asking for help from the community to make its rent after someone stole thousands from the Lebanese eatery. A GoFundMe page was created on Dec. 19th to raise $6,500 to "keep Café Beirut in the community." The fundraising page says it all:
Recently, it was discovered that several thousand dollars had been stolen from the coffers of Café Beirut. Though the perpetrator has been identified and proper action is being taken, it appears unlikely that money will be recovered in time to cut the rent check, if at all.

25 Hyde & Jackson Squares Merchants Honored for 20 Years in Biz

The Hyde Jackson Square Main Street honored 25 businesses at their annual meeting for being in business for 20 years or more. Held on Oct. 24th, the event recognized the businesses "to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our storefront merchants who have successfully owned their stores, restaurants, and service business for 20 years and more." The following businesses and owners were honored:

Alejandro Castillo - Alex's Chimis

Idalia Flores - All Checks Cashed

Robert Amador &  Maryanne Oller - Amador & Oller Executive Group

Soranlly Castillo - Angela's Hair Salon

Philip Barron - Barron Chiropractic & Rehabilitation

Ruddy Castillo - Centre Tailor Shop

Cathy Gavriel & Adrian Gaspar - Dunkin' Donuts, Jamaica Plain

Alberto Vasallo III - El Mundo Newspaper

Juan Fernandez - Fernandez Barber Shop

Jorge Gomes & Ana Fernandez Gomes - Fernandez Travel Agency

Freddy Cabral - Freddy's Market Bodega

Mohammed Mansour - Home Basix

Joseph Rodriguez - J. Rodriguez Tax & Consulting

George Pavlidis - JP Auto Services

Aida Lopez - La Casa de Los Regalos

Jose Tejeda - La Gran Via

Wilcisquin Baez - Las Villas

Rafael Veras - Latino Restaurant

Juan Reyes - Miami Restaurant

Eduardo Vasallo - Mr. V Auto & Signs by Mr. V

Laura Edelstein - Prince Street Caterers

Hugo Damm - Rizzo's Pizza

Antoinette Elias - Sorella's Restaurant

Damaris Pimentel - Ultra Beauty Salon

Juan Anderson Medina - Yely's Restaurant