A new restaurant, Bar Orange, is planned for a Forest Hills spot that has had two restaurants fail in the last five years. The restaurant will be located at 3698 Washington St., which was previously home to the failed Tonic, and a second location for Grass Fed opened in 2016 and closed in 2017. Bar Orange will be a sit down restaurant with a variety of in-house cooked food, using locally-sourced products, as well as local microbrews, said Ryan M. Gazda of McDermott, Quilty & Miller, LLP, which is representing Bar Orange at public meetings. Closing time will be 1 am. Despite the name, Gazda said the focus of the restaurant will be more restaurant than bar.
It looks like the Forest Hills restaurant scene will receive a boost this February when a new taqueria opens on Hyde Park Avenue. The website for Achilito's Taqueria declares itself as "fresh and spicy" with a wood fire grill while utilizing seasonal ingredients. There will be small batch offerings such as spicy salsas and tasty looking tacos. The restaurant will open at 38 Hyde Park Avenue in a new building at the corner of Weld Hill Street across from the Forest Hills MBTA station. The new restaurant has also already created a buzz with local residents.
The MBTA Route 39 bus is moving to its permanent location this Saturday, October 14th. The move will occur following the end of bus operations on Friday, October 13, as the 39 will cease operating from the Route 39 loop at the northern end (towards Doyle’s Café and the Monument) of the Forest Hills Station block. Beginning with the start of bus operations on Saturday, October 14, the Route 39 bus will operate from the upper busway at the MBTA Forest Hills Station, according to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Passengers looking to access the 39 should exit to the upper busway as normal and turn to their right as they exit the station. The area that was occupied by the Route 39 loop will immediately become part of the Casey Arborway work zone.
Longtime Jamaica Plain resident Andrew Haines contacted the Arnold Arboretum to see if they had an art exhibition planned to capture the changing Forest Hills area. They liked the idea so much they invited Haines to create his own exhibit. "The Evolution of an Urban Landscape: Recent Paintings of Forest Hills" documents the development of the new park and Forest Hills station, said Haines to Jamaica Plain News. "When it was decided to take down the Casey Overpass, I thought this would be the first time in 60 years that Olmsted's plan would again connect through green spaces of the Emerald Necklace all the way to Franklin Park," said Haines. "The plan was to document as best I could, the development of the new park spaces and Forest Hills station.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Forest Hills construction project is a complete and utter debacle. A pedestrian approaching the MBTA station from central JP is greeted by foot-tall grass, months-old litter strewn everywhere, hedges that have not been trimmed since at least last year and a complete appearance of property neglect. The pedestrian corridors are poorly delineated, lack signage, and have no protection from impatient cars and buses. The time allowed on the traffic light to cross from South Street to the MBTA station is not nearly enough for a healthy, young adult much less for the elderly, the disabled or someone with children. Crossing to the Forest Hills subway stop from almost all directions is truly dangerous.