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“Church and State, Somerville/Cambridge Line, 2/1/22” by Jason Pramas. Copyright 2022 Jason Pramas. Used with permission.

A local bar returns, the Sidewalk Snow Clearing Pilot, and the Brickbottom Vision Plan Draft



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R.F. O’Sullivan’s to return

In May of 2021, local Somerville bar R.F. O’Sullivan’s, located on Beacon Street, had closed and moved to a new location in Lynn. Now, the establishment, known for its burgers and fried pickles, is coming back to the same space in Somerville, under different leadership. The watering hole will be called R.F. O’Sullivan’s & Son, and it will be owned by the Greater Boston Bar Company. Brianna Michelle Classen, also a local standup comic, will be the manager. According to Boston Restaurant Talk, a menu has not been decided upon yet, but it will likely focus on burgers. The original R. F. O’Sullivan’s opened in Somerville a little bit more over 30 years ago.

Sidewalk Snow Clearing Pilot began with weekend storm

The City of Somerville began its Sidewalk Snow Clearing Pilot this past weekend, with the snowstorm that swept the area. Properties on Broadway and School Street were part of the pilot to ”test options to support safer travel.” These two streets were chosen because “they cross the city; connect to bus, transit, and school routes; run through diverse neighborhoods; and offer a range of shoveling environments.” For the pilot, the City planned to do the following:

  • increase enforcement of existing sidewalk snow removal rules, which can include issuing fines when sidewalks are not shoveled properly or on time
  • clear more snow from bus stops, ramps, and other pedestrian features, and
  • clear snow from sidewalks not shoveled by property owners on time.

According to a press release, the City’s objective was as follows:

“Safety is the goal. Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the City Council are working together to improve pedestrian safety including after snowfall. This pilot will test the feasibility of increasing City snow removal from sidewalks,” reads the press release.

Feedback for Brickbottom Vision Plan Draft

The City of Somerville is calling for feedback to the Brickbottom Vision Plan Draft, a plan that outlines how the area can be transformed into a “vibrant mixed-use neighborhood that is walkable, connected, offers multiple types of open spaces, and serves as a destination for both artists and art lovers,” according to the City’s site. According to the draft, Brickbottom is “at the center of Somerville’s transformational areas,” and it has also seen some important changes, including the Green Line extension, the extension of the Somerville Community Path, and the engineering of Poplar Street Pump Station and the ArtFarm.

According to the draft, the plan does these two key things:

  • … [O]utlines recommendations for creating smaller block patterns with requirements for street frontages, appropriate building types within specific areas, and improving mobility and pedestrian connectivity.
  • … [A]ims to establish unmistakable character and urban design attributes for the neighborhood while also creating a clear guide for development.

Three main objectives guide the plan:

  • Identify opportunities to create new Civic Spaces, tie to the Community Path and the GLX station, and improve bike and pedestrian connections to link neighborhoods together.
  • Focus on neighborhood access and circulation patterns to keep streets safe, enhance the quality of life for residents and businesses, and preserve the uniqueness of the neighborhood character.
  • Integrate new development and infrastructure into the inherited neighborhood patterns to produce a cohesive place with public and private investment.

This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

All Somerville Wire articles may be republished by community news outlets free of charge with permission and by larger commercial news outlets for a fee. Republication requests and all other inquiries should be directed to Somerville Wire articles are also syndicated by BINJ’s MassWire state news service at


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Shira Laucharoen is assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and assistant editor and staff reporter of the Somerville Wire.





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