City Councilor Lara Pleads Not Guilty to Multiple Charges Related to Car Crash

District 6 City Councilor Kendra Lara pled not guilty on Wednesday to numerous charges due to her crashing an unregistered and uninsured car while driving without a driver's license. Lara was arraigned at the West Roxbury Municipal Court for charges related to a June 30 accident in which a Boston Police auto investigator determined she was allegedly going at least 53 mph in a 25 mph zone. Among the charges against the first-term city councilor who represents Jamaica Plain, included operating a motor vehicle after suspension, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and assault and battery on a child with injury. She was also cited for a booster seat violation, due to her 7-year old not being in a booster seat in the back seat despite legally being required for him to be in booster seat due to his height, said Boston Police. The accident left her son bloodied with a cut around his eye,  and he needed stitches at Boston Children's Hospital.


Mike & Patty’s Launch Smash Burger/Chicken Sando Restaurant in Same Centre Street Location

The team behind Mike & Patty's recently launched an afternoon/evening restaurant serving smash burgers and chicken sandwiches within the same space at 388 Centre St. Right now the new restaurant, Up & Down, is open Thursday to Sunday from 4 to 10 pm. Mike & Patty's is open 8 am to 2 pm Monday through Sunday. Among the burgers, fries and appetizers, the menu includes:

Taki Melt: two smashed beef patties, fried cheese patty, salsa roja and taki dust on our Flourhouse milk roll. Oklahoma Thunder: two smashed beef patties, two slices of american cheese and grilled onions on our Flourhouse milk roll
Phuct fries: golden crispy french fries served 'Savage Style' with housemade cheese whiz, phuct sauce and caramelized onions
Spicy Clucker: house-battered fried chicken breast, spicy chili, lettuce, house-made pickles and kewpie mayo on our Flourhouse milk roll

Click here for the full menu.


City’s JP Better Bike Lanes Plan Includes Changes to Green, Boylston, Seaverns, and McBride

Boston's Public Works Department will be reconstructing several Jamaica Plain streets this year to grow the city's network of low-stress bike routes, and community feedback is wanted to shape the projects. This year's JP Better Bike Lanes projects include Green Street and Seaverns Avenue/Gordon Street, Eliot Street, McBride Street, and Boylston Street. There are two upcoming open houses on May 3 and May 11 (more info below) to discuss and learn more about the proposals. There will also be community walks to physically go to the streets to discuss the proposals with city personnel. Eliot Street
The Public Works Department is planning to allow bicycling in both directions on Eliot Street between the Emerald Necklace and Centre Street.


Haitian Restaurant Taking Over for 100% Delicias

From the looks of it, it would appear that 100% Delicias cleared out of its Centre Street location, and a new restaurant will open in its place. The new restaurant is called Fritay, and will serve Caribbean cuisine. Fritay means fried food and is a staple of Haitian cooking, and sources confirmed it will be a Haitian restaurant. There was no menu or more info posted in the windows or door. It is next to the former location of Cacao, which closed at the end of last year.


Diversity Consignment Recycles Clothing and Customers (Can) Make Money, Too

Diversity Consignment offers apparel for all sorts of styles. After falling in love with the artist centric community of Jamaica Plains, owner Ian Drake opened up the shop that was originally called DVSTY Consignment at 713 Centre St. This is his second consignment store with ID Drake Consignment in Pembroke. Drake supports a sustainable method of reusing and recycling clothing, as well as an open-ended shopping experience regardless of an individual’s identity. “Any clothing article should and can be worn by anybody,” Drake said.


What Do You Want to See In This Empty Centre Street Storefront?

Centre Street commercial spots don't stay empty for long. But this one at 753 Centre St., has been empty for almost three years. Optical Designs moved from the location in February 2020, and no other business has moved into this commercial location located across from Dunkin' at the corner of Centre and Thomas streets. So what would you like to see go in this location? If it's a restaurant, renovations would need to be made to create a kitchen.


Another Bank Coming to Centre Street: TD Bank to Open Branch

Another bank is opening on Centre Street. Currently, TD Bank is building out the space at 725-737 Centre St., according to a building permit posted on the wooden boards covering up the space. The alteration permit says it's to "erect, alter, substantially repair, move, demolish or change occupancy" at the location and states its being done by the tenant for "a new TD Bank" branch. The last bank to take up residence on Centre Street, Chase Bank, is only mere feet away from where the new TD Bank will stand. TD Bank will be the sixth bank within 200 yards of that section of Centre Street.


Video: Why Did The Coyote Cross Centre Street?

So why did the coyote cross Centre Street in Jamaica Plain? Easy answer: To get to the other side. You can see this coyote stop on Centre Street and observe the action of cars commuting around 6 am on January 4, 2023. This video was sent to Jamaica Plain News by a reader after they recorded this coyote crossing over Centre Street from the grounds of the First Church of Jamaica Plain. The reader said there was more than one coyote, too.


Centre Street Candy Store, Cacao, Closing at End of Month

Citing a looming recession, the owners of the candy store Cacao, said they are closing the business at the end of the month. The small, independently-owned store opened on 660B Centre Street in June 2018, serving up an assortment of delicious chocolates, nuts, and more, that were made in-house. Co-owners Perla Rosario and Leo Baez posted the store's closure on Facebook. They talked about how their families immigrated to Boston in the 1980s, settling in Jamaica Plain. "We grew up in JP and went to JP schools so opening a business in JP was a dream come true," said the Facebook post.


Restaurant Openings: Tonino, Mike & Patty’s, Happy Lemon, and More

A high-end Italian restaurant, a breakfast sandwich shop, and a boba tea spot -- Jamaica Plain has several new restaurants offering very different fare. Claire Makley and Luke Fetbroth opened Tonino on Oct. 20 in the former Little Dipper space (669A Centre St.) in partnership with local restauranteur David Doyle and his wife, Mari Pérez-Alers. Tonino is an Italian restaurant inspired by the trattorias, enotecas and aperitivo bars of the smaller neighborhoods surrounding Rome’s city center. The menu includes tomato pie, which has a direct influence from Fetboth's childhood trips to Philadelphia.