Zen Kitchen has finally opened up on Somerset Street between Percy and Bronson. Frequent users of the street may have noticed film crews there during the renovation, as the story of opening the restaurant were documented for a food tv show.
The owners live in the neighborhood too. I like the idea of businesses having both residential and commercial interests in the ward, as these interests are sometimes competing, sometimes complementary.
Around the corner on Percy, the vacant lot behind the former Chuck Brown golf has been turned into a large veggie garden. Jill Brown, former alderperson (but not of this ward) owned the store, and demolished the houses behind it to expand the parking lot. Fortunately, council squashed her neighborhood-busting and the lot remained vaguely grass-like for decades. I really like the garden, and its ground-hog proof fence. I do not know who set up the garden, but I suspect it is connected with the Umi Cafe workers coop at the corner.
A block further west, on Cambridge behind the Yangtze, the vacant lot, formerly a pile of debris, has been graded to flat. Years ago the Yangtze got planning permission to build some residential units along the street with commercial parking underneath accessible from the Yangtze lot. It would be good to see this plan resurrected. Housing in this neighborhood sells.