It's been a bad few weeks for Jamaica Plain restaurants. First Carrot Flower's owner said they were closing in May, then we learned that Old Havana closed, and now it looks like Il Panino Cafe & Grill is also closed. From looking into the space there is only tables and chairs left. There's no sandwich boards on the wall, no food, and no drink refrigerators. The signage remains outside of the site at 268 Centre St.
The Old Havana restaurant has closed its doors for the last time. Located between Hyde Square and Jackson Square at 349 Centre St., the restaurant was noticeably not open for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. A source who spoke with the restaurant's owner told Jamaica Plain News that their lease was not renewed. The owners said there was no plan to move the restaurant to another location. Open since 2013, Old Havana offered traditional Cuban cuisine.
After four years of being on Centre Street, Carrot Flower Plant-based Cafe & Juice Bar will be closing in May. Owner Audrey White provided the sad news on Carrot Flower's Facebook page. White said the business will not be renewing its lease and will permanently close on May 23. White states why the cafe is closing. "There are many reasons why we’re closing, but it boils down to the fact that we haven’t found a way to be profitable after four years.
Longtime drinking hole J.J. Foley's Fireside Tavern is closing this weekend. The news was reported by Boston Restaurant Talk:
According to a source within the restaurant industry, J.J. Foley's Fireside Tavern in the Forest Hills section of Jamaica Plain is closing its doors this weekend, with Sunday slated to be its last day in operation. J.J Foley's--which has an indirect ownership connection to the two J.J. Foley's in Boston's South End and Financial District--dates back to at least the 1940s, offering cheap drinks (no food, though people can bring food in) and having an electric fireplace while also having games such as darts and pinball, the latter of which is no longer there. J.J. Foley's Fireside Tavern is located at 30 Hyde Park Ave. The tavern is regarded by many as a dive bar, which wikipedia defines as, "...typically a small, unglamorous, eclectic, old-style bar with inexpensive drinks, which may feature dim lighting, shabby or dated decor, neon beer signs, packaged beer sales, cash-only service, and a local clientele."
The James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards are regarded as some of the top awards a restaurant and chef can earn, and this year a Jamaica Plain restaurant, and a Jamaica Plain resident, are semifinalists. Jamaica Plain resident Tiffani Faison, who is often a judge on Food Network's Chopped, was honored as a semifinalist for her restaurant Orfano. Faison was previously named a James Beard Finalist for Best Chef: Northeast in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
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Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta of Brassica Kitchen + Cafe were also named semifinalists as Best Chef: Northeast. Click here for a full list of all James Beard Semifinalists.