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.
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.
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.
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?
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.