Local business owners, civic boosters, and Hyde Park residents joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino as he cut ribbons at two neighborhood restaurants today.
Menino swung by ZAZ Restaurant on River Street, then turned the corner for a second stop at The Fairmount Grille.
Menino said the city invested $75,000 in the The Fairmount Grille, which sits across the street from the Fairmount commuter rail T stop. The MBTA has recently reduced fares and added more trains along Fairmount Corridor Commuter Rail Line in an effort to increase ridership and boost local businesses.
“We have to continue to create economic opportunities next to these train stations along the Indigo Line,” Menino said in an interview after the ribbon cuttings. “These are the heart and soul of our city, these small businesses.”
The restaurant also got a $100,000 loan from Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, said Executive Director Jeanne DuBois.
Her organization has given $498,000 in loans to four businesses along the Fairmount corridor in the past six weeks in addition to the restaurant: a laundromat in Mattapan Square, an arts collective in Four Corners, and a technology company in Newmarket.
Two restaurants in the Hyde Park neighborhood closed recently due to personal reasons, DuBois said, but the neighborhood is poised for a comeback with the expanded T service.
“I’ve lived in Roslindale for 35 years and I’ve watched these neighborhoods, like Roslindale and Hyde Park, kind of ebb and flow,” she said. “But when you get the trains really serving the neighborhood now, I think there is really an opportunity to grow.”
Franklin Winklaar stood in the doorway of his barbershop, Los Magicos, and welcomed his new next-door neighbors. He opened his third barber shop in Hyde Park last year and has enjoyed the quiet neighborhood.
“If you get more businesses in the neighborhood it’s better,” he said, “period.”