St. Mark's Area restaurant re-opens after break-in

Once again it is Indian chicken Balti on Tuesdays and shepherd's pie on Wednesdays for lunch. After a break-in and a slow-down in business, patrons of Dot2Dot café in the St. Mark's neighborhood come here not only to eat, but also to volunteer.

With help from the neighborhood, the European-style café is back in business after briefly closing its doors.

Dot2Dot, owned and operated by London-native Karen Henry-Garrett, was robbed on Sept. 21, and remained closed until Nov. 4. The cash register was broken into and a commercial freezer was stolen. The case is under investigation and no arrest has been made so far.

"I am financially crippled at the moment," said Henry-Garrett. "But the neighborhood has been very supportive. They really don't want this place to close."

When the café opened its doors in May, there were two chefs and a counter-person along with Henry-Garrett. But now the Paris-trained chef is running the café alone. "But friends and neighbors are helping out with staffing issues," she said. The break-in and the economy are to blame, she said.

The café is more than a food joint, also serving as a gallery space for local artists.

Currently the artwork of three local members of Black Artists Union at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design is on display. On Dec. 4, the artists will speak about their paintings, "which depicts powerful and controversial images," she said.

Exhibiting local art puts " a positive focus" on Dorchester, said Henry-Garrett, who moved here two years ago. She said wants to put the robbery behind her and move on concentrating on improving the café.