What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Richard Rouse Special to the Gazette

Since a fire closed down the Green Tea Coffee shop two years ago, Brigham Circle business advocates have been hankering for a new first-class java spot. The clean and colorful Solid Ground Café is earning rave reviews since opening its doors in late January at the site of the shuttered Hollywood Cleaners at 742 Huntington Avenue.

“What a handy place to start my day when I reach the bottom of Wait Street hill” said Wentworth student Angus Johnston. “This area needed a convenient place with good food and excellent coffee,” the WIT hockey team center added.

This breakfast and lunch spot is the cookery creation of Mission Hill residents Keith and Lucia Patrick, who met while they attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College. A  Pennsylvania native, Keith first fell in love with Mission Hill as a Northeastern Husky; then with Lucia, a BC Eagle by way of New Jersey. They were married in the Mission Church, and are now pursuing their business dream preparing healthy food in a comfortable eighteen seat setting down the street from their home. This writer never tried a bacon scone before, but now I’m hooked. Their quiche, Panini and various salads have been selling out quickly with mid-day patrons. The hospital crowd starts lining up when the doors open on weekdays at 6  a.m.  You’ll find the atmosphere relaxing and tasteful while watching the barista teasing her customers while preparing perfect percolating performances. This is a cozy spot with reasonable prices that is destined to become a Mission Hill landmark. I bestow a terra firma “5 Stars” to Lucia and Keith’s Solid Ground Café.

How’s that horrible pun? Some of my readers have been complaining that mine were becoming too subtle. Did you hear about the columnist who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh? No pun in 10 did.

My rant last month about improper sidewalk shoveling prompted several comments from Gazette readers. Let me add to it by venting my distaste for graffiti renderings throughout our main streets. This expression of artistic egotism has always baffled me. I fantasize about being a District Court Judge for just one day in order to make an example of one of these spoiled reprobates with some novel penalty like those imposed by our colonial ancestors. What a dream.

East Boston Savings Bank Executive Vice President Edward J. Merritt reported to me that their new branch at 1614 Tremont Street has “far exceeded all expectations” when I ran into him the other day. He told me that his employees love the neighborhood. EBSB now has 33 locations surrounding the City. My gut tells me that a friendly local bank that’s been around since 1848 has to be doing something right. Main Streets is glad they’re here.

Some fine applicants have come forth to apply to serve as my successor here at Mission Hill Main Streets this spring. Whomever the Board selects will enjoy working with a selfless group of dedicated volunteers who always strive to make our Main Streets the envy of the entire region. The joy I’ve experienced working in this special urban village is something I’ll treasure always. The vigilant and upbeat citizens throughout this neighborhood affirm that the area’s future will be bright.

Mother Nature provided dazzling weather to honor our gridiron heroes on the Tuesday following Super Bowl LVIII. Families and youngsters skipping school strolled through Mission Hill adorned in Red, White and Blue outfits in route to the Patriot’s Duck Boat salute initiating on Boylston Street. It felt like one of those Spring Commencement Days around here. I was taking in this upbeat spectacle when suddenly the sirens of two BPD motorcycles escorting Tom Brady and his family allerted all heads toward Huntington Avenue. This prompted spontaneous well-deserved applause for the 40-year-old master of short slants and quick outs. Tom smiled and waved as he proceeded through the neighborhood before catching up to the official motorcade. It was a delightful scene. A prediction… Don’t be surprised if Alex Cora’s boys prompt another Duck Boat procession before this year is over.

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