Editor's note: Below is a letter from Villa Mexico Cafe, written by its owner, Julie King.
Hi my friends,
Some of you may know of our business Villa Mexico Cafe. My daughter, Bessie, and I, Julie, have been trying to gather our community's support to relocate our business. The gas station where we are located will be redeveloped and we need to move out. After a year-long process trying to find a new home, then getting a spot on 12 Grove Street, and holding several meeetings and ongoing efforts to remain in this neighborhood we love and have served for the past 6 years, our last hearing will be on Tuesday, March 27.
This is our last chance. At this hearing we will know if we are allowed to relocate to 12 Grove Street or not.
If the board says "yes" our struggles will be rewarded. If they say "no" we leave the gas station this year and close to find something else.
Obviously this meeting is important, and we're asking YOU to be there. As I always say, my business is my house and my customers are my family. Today it's a time to rely on my family.
Yesterday, March 21, we met with Mayor Menino. He told us he was happy to have a business like ours in the city, that he knew of our hard work and our food. However, the mayor also told us that a building owner on Grove Street is ready to legally battle against us if we are given any permits by the ZBA.This owner fears her property values will decrease if our family-owned business moves in.
The Mayor and his community aides offered to help in communication between this landlord and us, so that we may work out any concerns ahead of Tuesday's hearing. My dears, we have met with you, knocked on doors, sent letters and asked residents of Grove Street about their stand. The majority of street residents are in favor of our move and we are willing to work with property owners who fear we will be a determent to the street. Please, we would love to speak with whoever has questions or concerns. If you know anyone in this position ask them to talk to us. We are at the deli, our phone numbers are 617.957.0725 or 617.240.3618, we would like a chance to speak with them.
I am sharing this with you because aside from getting advice about having this dialogue, we were also told to bring supporters on Tuesday.
The board is made up of seven (7) members, and we NEED five (5) approval votes. We will have a presentation of our plan and explain why we want to move to Grove Street. Then, any opposition and supporters will have time to speak.
This is where ALL OF YOU can help again.
If you are available from 10:30a.m. to 11a.m. on Tuesday please, with all my heart, come to City Hall Room 801-A. The hearing will not be long, but the board members need to see and feel the acceptance from the community.
YOUR presence, YOUR comments, YOUR energy are much more important than anything we can say to this board. Please join us.
If you are not available, please consider writing a letter of support. You can feel free to email it to us at VillaMexicoCafe@gmail.com or mail it before Tuesday to:
City of Boston
Board of Appeal
Inspectional Services Department
RE: Villa Mexico Cafe, BZC: 31716-32712
1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 4th Fl.
Boston, Ma 02118
I sincerely cannot tell you how much your help has kept Bessie and I going through this all. Whether it's by helping in our KickStarter campaign or offering kind words of encouragement, in addition to giving us your business. You are part of my family and I pray with all my heart that we get a big "yes" on Tuesday so that your efforts are also rewarded.
For now, I keep praying things go well on the 27th and thank ALL OF YOU for your help, support, love and understanding. It has been a very stressful time, let's take the final test together.
Hoping to see all your wonderful faces on Tuesday, I wish you a happy, sunny, day.