Jamaica Plain

A colorful facelift for a neighborhood bodega
By Diana Schoberg

Luis Guerrero of the Pimentel Market, 340 Centre St., says he’s had no problems with graffiti since his mural was painted last summer.

Luis Guerrero, owner of Pimentel Market, leans over the counter as he speaks, a cabinet filled with religious figurines side by side with bottles of perfume. Bags of “Planta de amor” hang on the wall behind him. Guerrero has just returned from a morning at the market in Chelsea, buying products for the small corner store he’s owned for three and a half years.

Last summer, Guerrero decided to have the mural painted outside his store, a vibrant green wall with four young women from four different cultures welcoming customers inside. “I wanted to have something different,” he says over the Spanish talk radio blaring in the background. “Not just plain paint.”

The mural on the Pimentel Market gives a multicultural perspective.

The city used to come and paint over graffiti on the wall, but has no longer needed to since the mural has been painted. “Before I did that, kids used to draw names,” Guerrero says. “Since they see that, they respect it.”

He’s heard no complaints so far. “People just stopped by to say how good it looked before it was even finished,” he says. “Customerwise, has it brought more people in? Who knows, maybe.”

Valerie Grabiel, director of the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets, says the new mural reawakened awareness of the neighborhood bodega. “Hopefully, that translates into curiosity by old customers or passersby curious about what’s inside.”

A Profile of Businesses in Hyde/Jackson Square

• There are a total of 124 businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies in the Hyde/Jackson square business district.
• Approximately 1,700 people are employed.
• Businesses are small: Half of all businesses have three full-time employees or less, while 20 percent have only one full time employee or less.
• Businesses are young: Half of all businesses have been operating from their current location for eight years or less.

From Hyde/Jackson square business district profile prepared by OKM Associates, Inc. Courtesy of Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets


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Memories of Changes

One police officer's memories of changes in Hyde Square over the past 30 years.



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