What’s Happening on Main Streets

With the holidays behind us, here’s a thumbs-up to those who did more local shopping and a pat on the back to all the businesses that helped to make our neighborhoods feel more festive. The City’s #5onMain effort encouraging shoppers to purchase five items at Boston neighborhood businesses exceeded all expectations. I’m happy to report that I tactically avoided all the shopping malls this year and purchased many fine gifts across the city. Did you see the reports that dozens of the large malls experienced wild teenage donnybrooks forcing shopping center closures across the nation? One more beneficial reason to do your shopping locally!

Mission Hill Main Streets plans to bestow awards for its holiday window design contest next year. Many of our local shops go all out to dress up their establishments. The outstanding illuminated window category was clearly captured by the festive Flann O’Brien’s Pub. In the painted window category, I cannot decide which storefront I like more. Mike’s Donuts paintings of a singing donut choirs is both clever and cute. However, The Mission Bar windows this year feature renderings from the Nutcracker ballet complementing the Nutcracker flags and light pole banners seen throughout Mission Hill. Also, on the Mission Bar windows are depictions of our distinctive new streetlights with sparkling snowflake lights that lustered Tremont Street this season.

Both Kush Groove and Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta hung 4-foot snowflakes in their windows nicely reflecting their street scene. Mission Church erected their traditional wooden manger with the Nativity scene on the rectory lawn…some things never go out of style. The Mission Realty Advisors presented a classy evergreen window motif that fits well amongst the 1872 architecture of the Mission Hill Triangle District. Certainly the tasteful greens, wreaths, and banners adorning One Brigham Circle presents a genuine bona fide feeling of welcome to the neighborhood. Paraphrasing Santa, I say, “…With your stores so bright; you can guide my way tonight.”

Last month, I wrote about the success of the newly opened GRUB sandwich and poutine shop. They’ve surpassed their early volume estimates that they have begun a delivery service to keep up with demand. Manager Keith Patrick tells me he cannot get over his overall happiness due to both his mercantile success, as well as his recent marriage in December at the Mission Church. As a happily married guy for well over 30 years, let me offer this word of advice. You owe it all to your wife! Congrats.

All in all, the past year has been a propitious one for the Mission Hill business district. We are enjoying the fruits of this healthy local economy. Mission Hill Main Streets is sometimes like a community dentist. We try to insure that the neighborhood maintains its overall commercial health. We assist shops that might need cosmetic repairs. We promote overall healthy trade practices and help coordinate the filling-in of missing teeth (vacant parcels) along the streetscape. We discourage unhealthy commerce, and encourage shopkeepers to brush and polish their establishments to insure the economic vitality of their trade. The result is a gleaming smile for our entire neighborhood.

On behalf of the merchants of Mission Hill and the board of directors of Mission Hill Main Streets, we wish you a happy and healthy 2017.




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