Diner-Style Little Dipper Restaurant Takes Over for Popular Centre Street Cafe

Chances are the Little Dipper is the only restaurant in Jamaica Plain with model rockets on the ceiling. But it's the menu that will ultimately draw customers back in to the restaurant, not the decor. The diner-style restaurant recently opened after taking place of the popular Centre Street Cafe. Co-owner David Doyle, who also owned Centre Street Cafe, said the change in business name, concept and decor was due to working with a new business partner, Robyn McGrath, who is also the chef. "She and I agreed that there is a need for more quality breakfast and lunch options in the neighborhood, so we decided to close the cafe and open Little Dipper, a fun, casual, diner-style restaurant, which we believe will have broader appeal than the cafe," said Doyle to Jamaica Plain News.

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Rosie’s Place Names JP’s Mari Pérez-Alers to Board of Directors

Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women, recently named Jamaica Plain resident Mari Pérez-Alers, DPT to its board of directors. Pérez-Alers is a senior project manager for PACE, a national organization whose mission is to allow adults with chronic ailments, age 55 and older to remain living safely, and as independently as possible in the community. Trained as a physical therapist, she has more than 20 years of strategic management and leadership experience in community-based health care. With her husband, David Doyle, she co-owns three Jamaica Plain restaurants: Tres Gatos, Casa Verde and Centre Street Cafe. Mari Pérez-Alers serves as the vice-chair of the Rosie’s Place board and also sits on the Strategic Planning committee.

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Centre Street Cafe Becoming ‘Celestial’ All Day Diner

The seemingly popular Centre Street Cafe will be changing its name in the coming weeks and becoming an all day diner with a celestial name. The diner will be called Little Dipper and have a space theme, according to Boston Magazine. The current ownership of the cafe purchased it in 2015 and changed it to an Italian restaurant, and continued to serve one of the most popular brunches in town, as it commonly has a line out the door. So sounds like the Little Dipper will still serve brunch, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a Cajuan, Southern and Southwestern influence, reports Boston Magazine. Centre Street Cafe is expected to close in May for several weeks as it is remade into the diner.

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One Year Later, JP Restaurateurs Reflect on Hospitality Fee

Last December, Jamaica Plain restaurants Tres Gatos and Centre Street Cafe added a 3 percent "hospitality administrative fee" to diners' checks, which would be used to fund raises, benefits and more sustainable work hours for the restaurants' back-of-house kitchen staff. When sister restaurant Casa Verde opened this May, it adopted the rule as well. The restaurateurs' decision touched off a great deal of discussion online (including on Jamaica Plain News) and in their restaurants. In particular, they told the community they hoped their experiment would "serve as a test model from which other small restaurants can gain valuable insight." So, one year after implementing the fee, what have the restaurants' owners observed?

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A view through hanging wine glasses toward the dining area of Centre Street Cafe on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014.

Positive Reviews Flood Centre Street Cafe’s Facebook Page After Trump Trolls Attack

Ah, the internet -- it's an idiot's playground, but sometimes love trumps stupidity. That was the case when a bunch of internet trolls bombarded Centre Street Cafe's Facebook page with untruthful, negative reviews, after a restaurant employee posted a video on his personal Facebook page calling out hateful language at a local rally for a certain GOP presidential nominee. Co-owner Keith Harmon noticed the negative reviews popping up on the restaurant's Facebook page Tuesday night. (Harmon also co-owns Tres Gatos and Casa Verde, two popular and trendy restaurants in Jamaica Plain.)
The negative reviews, most of which had been removed by Wednesday night, alleged that supporters of Donald Trump had been kicked out of the restaurant, and that a patron had a drink thrown in their face because they didn't support same-sex marriage. The "reviews" got worse from there, even alleging an employee had offered sexual acts to a patron in the bathroom.

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Ten Jamaica Plain Businesses Awarded ‘Best of Boston’ by Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine’s annual “Best of Boston” issue has hit stands, and 2015 marks the 42nd anniversary of the awards! For the past 12 months, Boston magazine’s team of expert judges ate, drank, and shopped their way across the city, the ‘burbs, and the Cape and the Islands to find the very best the area has to offer. This year, 10 Jamaica Plain businesses won "Best of Boston" awards in the “Arts & Entertainment,” “Dining,” and “Neighborhood Best” categories. Here is a complete list of the winners:

Arts & Entertainment, Record Store: Deep Thoughts JP
Dining, Brunch: Tres Gatos
Dining, Ethiopian: The Blue Nile
Dining, Bread: Blue Frog Bakery
Dining, Pastry: Canto 6 Bakery
Dining, Romantic: Centre Street Café
Neighborhood Best, Eat: Thursdays on the Lawn, Loring-Greenough House
Neighborhood Best, Drink: Canary Square
Neighborhood Best, Shop: Kitchenwitch
Neighborhood Best, Discover: Boating on Jamaica Pond

For a complete list of all “Best of Boston” winners, head over to BostonMagazine.com.

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Ghazal Indian Cuisine, 711 Centre St., will be closing. A Mexican restaurant is planned for the space.

Goodbye Tandoor, Hello Tacos: Ghazal Gives Way to Mexican

A new Mexican restaurant from the team that runs Tres Gatos and Centre Street Cafe is planned for the longtime Ghazal space. That's the word from Tres Gatos co-owner David Doyle. Here's how he describes the concept:

"We know we want the restaurant to be a casual, affordable, family-friendly Mexican eatery featuring tacos, ceviches, and other traditional fare, made with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible." Doyle said the new spot would have a large selection of draft beer, plus wines from the U.S. and South America. Jamaica Plain News hasn't spoken with Ghazal's owners, but Doyle Tweeted that the owner is selling Ghazal to pursue another venture.

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Sneak Peek: Centre Street Cafe Opens Tuesday Evening

David Doyle, co-owner of Centre Street Cafe, pauses for a photo on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Credit: Chris Helms

As of Tuesday evening, Jamaica Plain will finally have an Italian restaurant. But before you tuck into your linguine and littlenecks (yes, they're on the menu), here's a a sneak peek of the new Centre Street Cafe. As most residents know, previous owner Felicia Sánchez made Centre Street Cafe a neighborhood staple.

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Blue Frog Bakery in Jamaica Plain

You Might Be Surprised What JP Biz Owners Say About a Minimum Wage Hike

You'd expect the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to be against raising the minimum wage. And you'd be right. But what about business owners right here in JP? It's a more complicated picture than you might think. While it's true that Jamaica Plain votes well to the left of much of the country, small business bottom lines are still bottom lines.

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