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A couple JP notes

  • Joanie Oct 18, 2006 02:56 PM

It looks like Cha Fahn went out of business. I didn't read the sign on the door but there's brown paper on the windows. I feel bad, I always meant to go but never made it, and it always looked very slow whenever I went by.

There was a grand opening for El Oriental de Cuba Tues. nite but I missed it. I assume it was a zoo. That Sweet Christopher's place between Ten Tables and Bon Savor now says "a dessert cafe" on the sign, so I'm psyched about that. Our cup runneth over as far as baked items in JP now after such a long drought. Still not sure what's going in the space to the left of this. And a new cutesy home knick knack type place opened on the other side of the street.

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  1. I don't think Cha Fahn went out of business. A few of us wanted to head over there for tea last Saturday, so I went to their website for hours. Apparently, Cha Fahn is undergoing renovations and will come back with a new menu. So, I guess we'll have to wait it out.

    1. Cha Fahn is definitely still around! Just renovating. Go! The food and drinks are divine. Yeah, we are drowning in bakeries in JP now. From zero bakeries to, like, five!

      my blog
      http://www.thegeminiweb.com/babyboome...

      1. Cha Fan is putting in a full kitchen. They will now be able to do the full restaurant thing.
        Sweet christophers will be a dessert cafe opening 10-11am ish and running until 9-10 pm. They are looking to get a beer/wine/crodial lic. They won't have a kitchen, all the goods will be brought in.
        but even more important, The Videosmith on the corner of centre and seaverns is going out of business. According to local business persons there is talk of a Papa Gino's or Starbucks going in there. As a local resident I think we need to say no to the chains!!

        gutterman

        1. i would normally agree about the anti-chain sentiment, but let's face it, there are no good cafes in JP--in fact, they are mostly terrible--so i would actually welcome a starbucks. i know, i know. a really good local cafe would be even better, but until then...

          in any case, as long as it's not another real estate agency or bank! it seems like 75% of centre street businesses are one or the other of those. sheesh.

          actually, does anybody have any news about the cafe that's supposed to open up by the gym around the corner from the stony brook t stop? last time i was by there it said it was opening in the fall, but no more details...

          4 Replies
          1. re: autopi

            i heard winter at the earliest...i guess they ran into some construction-related delays--surprise, surprise! doesn't that seem to happen with every restaurant/cafe? it will be great for the neighborhood when it's up and running, though.

            1. re: autopi

              Hi,

              What makes the JP cafes so terrible, if you don't mind me asking?

              It's an honest question, as I just moved here a few months ago and am looking for a good place to study.

              1. re: Prav

                Junebug: mediocre coffee, loud Top 40 radio that plays 3 songs on infinite repeat (literally every time out of the dozens of times I've been there)

                Sweet Finnish: terrible coffee, though nice and quiet space (prob. best bet for working); baked goods are merely ok. not really a cafe/coffeehouse (though doesn't pretend to be one, i suppose.) bad hours--i.e. they close early, at least on the weekends.

                JP Licks: scads of kids of all ages running amok, bad coffee, overpriced ice cream, formica booths, very bad coffee, i can never stay there for more than 10 minutes at a time.

                Emack and Bolio's: terrible coffee, doesn't seem particularly clean, crowded, practice of leaving plastic bins filled with leftover coffee and pastry bits in the dining area, population of homeless and/or crazy people, terrible coffee

                Java Jo's: nice enough, but hard to get to (for me), and the few times I've been there, it had a very "locals" vibe w/regulars and workers squawking up a storm between them, which made it difficult to work. a bit too local, if you know what i mean.

                i don't know if i'm forgetting anything...in my opinion, for getting some work done, sweet finnish is the best of the bunch, but you're out of luck if you like coffee and want decent evening hours. if only city feed would open up a seating area, we'd be in business...

                there was a thread a few weeks ago about good cafes to work in which might give you some leads. nothing in jp, lots in cambridge/somerville.

                1. re: autopi

                  I'm not a coffee expert, but I've gotten iced coffee at Sweet Finnish and just had a capuccino last week that was pretty good I thought. Came in a beautiful big mug for a good price. Seemed good but as a non-regular coffee drinker, I may not know what I'm talking about. Baked goods are just okay, too bad they don't carry some of Canto 6's stuff. And while it's roomy and quiet, I still think it's sterile looking with the plain wood chairs and that one ugly couch. (P.S. I had a couple sweets when I was in Helsinki and Stockholm that seemed to be overloaded with cardamom or some spice I couldn't put my finger on. Wasn't into it.)

                  How's the coffee at Bon Savor? They often aren't that busy and you could sit around working. Unless they still have that problem with the place smelling like frying butter all the time.

                  BTW, the space between Bon Savor and the new dessert place will be a 2nd hand store.

            2. I think the pulla (cardamom and raisin) pastries at Sweet Finnish are wonderful... and lord, I hope there's no Starbuck's coming to JP. Hate *their* coffee.

              1. Whether you like the existing cafes in Jamaica Plain or not, chains are not the way to go. Here is what you get with a chain: disaffected, poorly paid workers who don't care one ounce for the customer (and why should they?), a cardboard cutout atmosphere, and zero sense of community.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TheScribe

                  actually, scribe, that kind of describes my view of what the jp cafes are like themselves (though i don't know whether starbucks or junebug or whoever pays more.) while i share your concern about local businesses, i find most of the coffee-oriented ones in jp right now pretty low-quality.

                  sionnac, thanks for the tip about the pulla pastries at sweet finnish--i'll have to try one next time i'm there. but while i agree that the coffee at starbucks is just as bad as at any jp cafe, the atmosphere is actually better than at many of the local places (emack and bolios could use a bit more sterility in my opinion, as could jp licks--bathroom: ick!), and the hours would probably be better than sweet finnish, at least during the weekend. so i find the knee jerk antipathy towards starbucks-b/c-its-starbucks uncompelling. (surely that's better than a second-rate pizza chain?)

                  again, i would love to see a high quality, take-the-coffee-seriously kind of cafe go in there, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. maybe some jp chowhounds should get together and open one up?

                  1. re: autopi

                    Sorry to interrupt the chow talk, but we had to remove a few posts that were off-topic for the Boston board -- we'd like to keep this board narrowly focused on sharing chowtips for the Boston area. To keep the chow signal to noise high, we're sorry that we can't entertain posts on how chains treat their employee, whether they're good or bad for competition etc... Thank you for your understanding.

                2. Well, Someday Cafe in Davis Sq. closed recently after much wrangling. I take it as an omen, although Diesel seems to be going strong. And so does Starbucks. :(

                  1. Don't get to JP as often as I like to, did this new place open,
                    sounds interesting and worth the short trip.