The old building that housed the popular James's Gate restaurant was razed recently and fans mourned its loss. The building is now gone with a hole in the ground taking its place, but the James's Gate mural is still visible on the outside wall of the old Fernandez Spa building. James's Gate quickly closed in September 2015, even though the restaurant at the corner of South and McBride streets was still quite popular. The building was then sold to a developer in March 2016. In January 2017 the city's Zoning Board of Appeals approved a four-story mixed-use condo building that will be built on the site.
The old James's Gate Pub will become 11 condos plus ground-floor retail in a four-story building approved this week by a key neighborhood group. The Zoning Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council voted 8-2 with one abstention to recommend support for a plan by local developer Stephen Ballas to transform the site at 5 McBride St. The proposal has been on the table for roughly a year. Wednesday marked at least the fifth community meeting about the project. While condos are nothing new in JP, the size of the proposed development and fact that it takes the place of a well-known pub have focused attention on the project.
One of the most-watched real estate developments in a neighborhood full of them returns to public debate this week. The former James's Gate site at 5 McBride St. will be on the docket Wednesday when the JP Neighborhood Council's Zoning Committee meets. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Farnsworth House, 90 South St., just a block from the abandoned pub. Proponents are pitching a four-story mixed-use building that would have 11 residential units and commercial space on the ground floor.
A reincarnation of James's Gate could swing open as soon as January, according to Paul Byrne, manager and owner of the proposed pub. "The Gate," as the new venue would be called, would open in the Egleston Square space occupied for the last four years by Coco's Lounge at 3171 Washington St. A neighborhood board voted unanimously to support the project at a hearing Tuesday. Byrne, a fixture in JP restaurant circles, co-owned James's Gate with Christy Page. The two parted ways over the abrupt closure of the McBride Street landmark a year ago in September.
The group looking to open a community-owned bar at the site of the former James's Gate restaurant will hold a public information session this Thursday. The James's Gate Cooperative group will meet Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Farnsworth House (90 South St.) after the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) holds its Development 101 Workshop at 6 p.m.
A website dedicated to the James's Gate Cooperative explains its motivation and purpose: "The motivation is not just about a bar, but rather the formation of a cooperatively owned and managed establishment that strives to uphold values of democracy, equality, self-responsibility, solidarity, and the formation of a sense of pride and place in one’s community. A bar, and more specifically a community-owned cooperative bar, is simply an ideal vehicle for doing so." There also could be space for a restaurant/bar at the site. Developer Stephen Ballas of Jamaica Plain, has proposed a five-story mixed-use development at the site called The Gate.
The neighborhood will get a closer look Wednesday at the five-story mixed-use development that would rise where a much-loved pub once stood. James's Gate Pub, fireplace and dual bars included, closed abruptly in September 2015. The developer is scheduled to give a presentation on the plan on Wednesday at the Zoning Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council. If you'd like to go, the meeting is 7 p.m. at Farnsworth House, 90 South St. The parcel is at the corner of South and McBride.
Pour one out for James's Gate: The Irish pub on South Street has seemingly served the JP community for the final time. According to a sign posted on its doors this afternoon:
Dear faithful patrons,
We regret to inform you James's Gate had to close its doors. Thank you all for all your support over the years. We will miss all and hope to see you around the JP community. Sincerely,
James's Gate staff.
Untitled photo by William Brokhof, taken at Green Street Station. Other works by Jamaica Plain photographer Will Brokhof are on display at James's Gate. Brokhof tells Jamaica Plain News he'll donate a few of them for next Sunday's Art4Music fundraiser, which benefits the Jamaica Plain Music Festival. Each weekday we post a “Photo of the Day” from around the neighborhood. If you have a photo that screams (or even whispers) "Jamaica Plain," here are four ways to nominate it:
Email me at chris@jamaicaplainnews
Tag a picture on Twitter with @02130News
Put your photo in the Jamaica Plain News photo pool on Flickr
Tag a picture on Instagram with #02130News
[Editor's note: The photo above is not one of the ones in the James's Gate show.]
Police say a shooting in broad daylight Friday on busy South Street is probably gang related. To judge from the bullet holes left in the car, more than 10 shots were fired. The violence, which took place right in front of James's Gate pub, wounded one man in the leg. Boston Police said the man, whose age they do not yet have, was shot about 11:40 a.m. Friday at 128 South St. His injuries aren't life-threatening, said Police Officer James Kenneally.