The James’s Gate Cooperative is committed to opening a community owned bar at the site of the former James’s Gate restaurant on McBride St. in Jamaica Plain, MA. The motivation is not just about a bar, but rather the formation of a cooperatively owned and managed establishment that strives to uphold values of democracy, equality, self-responsibility, solidarity, and the formation of a sense of pride and place in one’s community. A bar, and more specifically a community-owned cooperative bar, is simply an ideal vehicle for doing so.
The details of how a cooperative operates are quite simple. As a community-owned space, the community funds that space through a reasonable annual membership fee ($40), which then makes you an owner of that space and entitles you to a vote in how the space is managed. Owners can certainly purchase more shares if they wish, but all owners have an equal vote and say in cooperative matters (it is a true democracy!). Like most cooperative models, owners may enjoy a year-end dividend payment based on any profits, or owners may vote to forego their payment and have that money put to a myriad of other causes consistent with our cooperative values.
As a cooperative, this is not about money; it is about empowering and nurturing our community. It is about providing the community with a safe, open, and inclusive space that upholds the values of the community, and will be so much more than just a bar. In a society all too often plagued by apathy, hatred, anger, inequality, and misunderstanding, the James’s Gate Cooperative is a small but tangible step to address these issues through both a cooperative business model and the merriment of community. If you opt to enjoy a beer while doing so, then by all means drink up (responsibly)! We hope you will join us, and get excited about our movement!