Hey, there! Log in / Register

Old pita place in Roslindale Square to become mental-health day center

Old Bob's Pita/Droubi Bros. on South Street in Roslindale Square

Pita seekers know to head over to Washington Street for the new Droubi Bros.

Vinfen, a social-services agency, plans to move a Brookline "clubhouse" that provides day services for people recovering from mental illness - including an arts-based program - into the former Droubi Bros. space on South Street.

The space has been vacant since Droubi Bros. - which once made fresh pita in a large oven there - moved to a new storefront on Washington Street, on the other side of Adams Park.

Vinfen spokesperson Erin Tighe said Vinfen hopes to open the new Webster House in Roslindale on Sept. 1, 2017. Webster House provides:

Supports geared toward employment, education, social activities and relationships, life skill development, housing, connecting to community resources, health and wellness, arts-based rehabilitation, and advocacy. The focus of Webster House is on self-help, peer support, and empowerment of its membership, with staff and members working side by side to manage all of the Clubhouse operations and governance.

Tighe said the landlord had already cleared the space to the bare walls - including removing the pita oven - before Vinfen began looking at the property.

Neighborhoods: 
Ad:

Comments

Well, I would have preferred a restaurant, but considering that Vinfen likely has the resources to properly fix up that space and bring it back into productive use (and a good hearted use at that) I suppose the glass is half full.

up
Voting closed 0

There was a Middle Eastern food place called Droubi Brothers? I really hope they had such dishes as "What a Fūl Believes", "Listen to the Musakhan", "Take Me in Your Arms (Arak Me)", and "China Groats".

up
Voting closed 1

I've lived in Roslindale all these years and never once made that connection? Oy!

In any case, the place was, and is, a market, only now on the other side of the square and without any pita that they make themselves.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm all for the mentally ill having a place to hang out, but this seems like a location designed for food/retail that will help the neighborhood become more of a shopping/dining destination, not social services. Just seems as if they could have plunked this almost anywhere else in the neighborhood.

up
Voting closed 0

We have three new restaurants opening; two by the end of this year, in the downtown area.

It seems to me that they plunked it down where there was a open storefront and, more importantly, the zoning will allow.

We have two many dining destinations for those to eat their tapas and too few places for those with mental illness to recreate. I, for one, am glad it is going in there.

up
Voting closed 0

Are you talking about Dedham or Roslindale? Not sure I get your point. Mine, again, is that of course we need places to help the mentally ill but imo a "storefront" is better suited to a store, not an agency. I'd feel the same way if it were a law office or a dental clinic (or the new vet clinic opening around the corner). That said, I can understand the motivation to get a stable long-term tenant--businesses in RS seem to cycle in and out way too often, partly because of the high rents.

up
Voting closed 1

Extremely limited vegan options in Roslindale. Agreed though on using a store front for this sort of thing. Isn't a Vet going into another store front just around the corner?

up
Voting closed 0

But the place where Derna's used to be could open any month/year now.

up
Voting closed 0

though now I think about it, I wish they were going into Droubi Bros! How cool would that have been especially if there were existing ovens. It sounds as if he had very specific requirements but I still wish the new space were somewhere a bit more walkable.

up
Voting closed 0

The landlord may have ripped the previous fixtures out, but in a commercial lease the tenant is generally responsible for remodeling and bringing the space up to a useable state. My understanding is that building is in pretty darn rough shape inside - it's not especially nice on the outside, either.

Restaurants run on very thin margins - the startup costs are tremendous as is, especially if they need a liquor license, and the costs to outfit the space and then run a business don't make it very attractive to any potential chefs looking to sign a lease.

Vinfen is a massive company that has a good, steady income from the state delivered in guaranteed budgets, and can absorb the costs of remodeling more easily (especially since they won't be installing a commercial kitchen).

Probably the best case scenario for you would be they fix it up and then move after a few years.

up
Voting closed 0

I know that Vinfen is affiliated with Gateway Arts in Brookline Village, and they run an awesome gallery and shop. So hopefully they'll also have a retail shop in this location. Would be a good place for it.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, that would be wonderful if the Rosi location incorporated their arts for those with disabilities, along with a storefront/gallery like in Brookline.
I think it is great Vinfen is coming to Rosi. They seem to have a good reputation, are a solid organization doing good work in communities. We have residents in Rosi and surrounding area who would benefit from their services.
Their presence could bring more traffic to other stores through clients, as well as service providers. This is a win-win, I believe.

up
Voting closed 0

just sayin'

up
Voting closed 0

A living neighborhood needs many different types of facilities. We already have some great markets, specialty foods, bakeries, gift stores, restaurants, etc. Of course, more of those would be welcome (well, good ones), but also essential are things like day care, health and social services, clubs, studios, etc.

Just having the space in productive use again is great news. The old disintegrating storefront was *awful*! (my only concern is that Vinfen may have leased a pig in a poke. According to the family that runs Droubi, that building's infrastructure is truly ancient and just falling apart.)

up
Voting closed 0

But ANYTHING that presents an active street face and encourages foot traffic is better than letting it continue rotting.

up
Voting closed 0

Hope they clean that filthy facade up

What a mess .

up
Voting closed 0

The Brookline Village location was accessible from the D line and the 65 & 66 buses. I guess I don't like the perceived message of pushing mental health services out from a central, seemingly convenient, location.

up
Voting closed 0

There are roughly 67,000 bus routes that run between Forest Hills and the square.

up
Voting closed 0

How many bus routes does it take to equal one off-street light rail line?

up
Voting closed 0

Why Vinfen would move an established program such as the Webster House from Brookline Village to Roslindale Village. Most of their clients take The Ride, not public transportation.....hoping that they were good neighbors in Brookline.

up
Voting closed 0

Wasn't sure. But Brookline rent could be very high compared to Rosi. Also, parking must be easier in Rosi, and we do have the buses and commuter rail here.

up
Voting closed 0

They're moving the whole Webster House program to Roslindale.

up
Voting closed 0

I believe the entire building they are in in Brookline is being gutted. My bet is they either got pushed out or decided to leave due to whatever plans the landlord has for the building.

up
Voting closed 0

Most clubhouse members receive transportation to-from the clubhouse from whomever provides their residential services - which may be Vinfen, or may be Baycove or another mental health service provider. Not the Ride (which IS public transportation - just for people with eligibility to use door to door services).

But true, most do not rely on things like buses, trains, trolleys, etc.

up
Voting closed 0

But a "Mental Health Day Center" is an odd phrase for a useful service. I mean, it sounds like the kind of place you go to when you call in sick because you can't stand your co-workers and need to get away.

up
Voting closed 0

it sounds like the kind of place you go to when you call in sick because you can't stand your co-workers and need to get away.

Where are such places, locally? Asking for a friend.

up
Voting closed 0

Call me a NIMBY, but my neighborhood (guess which one) has a whole lot of social service agencies that attract the mentally ill, and I wish some of the agencies got replaced by interesting ethnic bakeries.

up
Voting closed 0

Is Vinfen taking responsibility for the safety of their patients and their communities????

http://somerville.wickedlocal.com/article/20150318/NEWS/150316143

up
Voting closed 0

I can't tell from the comments that anyone has actually visited or used a clubhouse. They aren't designed to be drop in and vegetate for the day places, and they certainly aren't country club or golf type sports facilities. They each look different because they are designed around the needs and interests of the clients. They provide job training, networking (which from the comments and the NIMBY expressions explain how ostracized clients are), life skills, and support in becoming and remaining as independent and socially productive as they desire. Many clubhouses have an in-house business, such as art galleries, food service, retail shops and community events hosting.

They do not detract from business areas, and they are seen as good neighbors. It's really disheartening to continue to read fearful and contemptuous, but ignorant, remarks because those can and do influence how and where clubhouses and other initiatives designed to integrate people struggling with mental illnesses into their rightful chosen communities locate and thrive or shrivel and die, leaving vulnerable people without the means to have meaningful lives.

/off soapbox

up
Voting closed 0