Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pronails Spa opens in Great Road Shopping Center

Pronails Spa at 305 Great Road in the Great Road Shopping Center, held it's Grand Opening today. The Spa replaces the Radio Shack store which closed in November 2014. This is the 4th location for Pronails Spa. In addition to Bedford, they have two locations in Billerica and one in Braintree.

The interior has undergone an extensive renovation resulting in a much more upscale appearance. 
I recently spoke to Tom Phan who is one of the owners. Tom mentioned he has been looking to open an additional location. He started researching other towns when one of his clients who lived in Bedford, suggested they open a location in Bedford. Tom did some additional research and thought the demographics of the town matched up well with their business. Tom has been looking forward to opening and interacting with the Bedford Community.

There are over a dozen regular Pedicure chairs.
The Spa focuses on Manicures, Pedicures, Facials, Waxing and Massage (which they also referred to as Bodywork). The Spa consists of 20 Manicure Stations and 16 Pedicure Chairs along with several VIP Chairs and two Massage rooms.

Clients can choose from several massage treatments including Hot Stone Bodywork, Reflexology and Thai Styles.

Along with individual services, the spa also offer private events for occasions such as Weddings and Company Perks/Outings.

Special VIP Chairs are available for VIP Services such as Organic Pedicures and Signature Detox Manicures.

According to Tom, the Spa is starting with ten employees and hopes to ramp up to about twenty employees after the first few months.

The Pronails sign behind the reception desk features running water. Behind the sign is an electric fireplace which
will be turned on during colder weather. 
The Spa is open from 10am to 7pm Mon-Sat and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

The last few years have seen an increase in Nail Salons and Spa's. I expect this trend to continue in Bedford. Along with Pronails Spa, Simply Nails & Spa is expected to open next month in the Bedford Marketplace. It will be interesting to see if the additional competition will end up driving more business.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Comella's Restaurant Opens in Bedford Marketplace

Comella's Restaurant opened June 30th at 158H Great Road in the Bedford Marketplace. With the opening of the Bedford restaurant, Comella's now has 13 locations, all of which are in Eastern Massachusetts.

I recently spoke with Matt Comella, co-owner of the restaurant chain. The company was originally formed by his Father, Gene Comella who opened the first location in Wellesley back in 1988. Matt and his brother J.P., joined the business in 2003 and they have been adding locations ever since.

The dining room has a modern well lit feel
According to Matt, the restaurant has 81 seats and has two main sections. A counter service section  where you place the order and then food is brought to you (similar to Ken's Deli) and a full service section where you order at the table. This full service section also contain a bar area. The menu focuses on Pastas, Pizzas, Salads, Sandwiches, Soups, Traditional Italian Entrees and Desserts. The restaurant also has a full liquor license.

Comella's features a wide variety of desserts including Italian Pastries.
Matt commented that Comella's has been interested in opening a location in Bedford for quite a while. They liked the demographics, especially the fact that there are lots of Families in Bedford. Comella's has a history of getting involved in the communities where they operate. Matt mentioned they have already hired a lot of local Bedford students to work in the restaurant.

A good portion of the dining areas consists of half booths.
Most of the other Comella's have about 20 seats and focus on take out. The Hingham location which opened in May, was the first location to have a full liquor license and larger dining room. While the Hingham location initially saw most of their sales from dine in, they have been pleasantly surprised to see the takeout business quickly grow to become just as popular as the other locations.

This section of the dining room features full service dining.

According to Matt, Comella's has a strong commitment on continuous improvement to the taste and quality of their food. They also look at the menu selection and recently decided to add a personal size pizza.

The bar area features a wide assortment of beer on tap along with High Definition Widescreen TV's.

Along with online ordering, Comella's also offer corporate catering. The restaurant is currently open 11:30 am to 10:30 pm every day but they will re-evaluate after the summer (Restaurant dining in Bedford tend to quiet down in the summer as many people head to summer homes and vacations).

The pictures are on the wall are all real photos of the Comella Family.

1. This is now the 3rd restaurant to open within just a few doors of each other. A 4th restaurant, Subway is expected to open later this Month which will create a mini restaurant row in Bedford.
2. It will be interesting to see how many former Cafe Luigi's customers will frequently Comella's. I think they will do very well in that regards. In addition, Comella's is well known for offering a 16" Pizza for $6, which will help drive a strong take out business.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Construction Continues on New Terminal Building for Jet Aviation FBO at Hanscom Field in Bedford

Construction is well underway on a new terminal building and airplane hanger for Fixed Base Operator Jet Aviation at Hanscom Field, which is the largest general aviation airport in New England. Groundbreaking for the new building took place in July 2015 and the new facility is expected to be completed later this year.

An illustration of the front entrance of the new building. The building it's replacing, is over 30 years old.
According to press reports, the new building will encompass 70,000 square feet. The hanger portion will make up around 40,000 square feet and house private and corporate aircraft. The new hanger will be larger than the current one and will be able to handle larger aircraft such as a Gulfstream G650 or a Bombardier Global 6000. The remainder of the building will be divided between office space and the actual customer facing FBO that serves Jet Aviation clients flying in and out of Hanscom Field.

Along with the new building, the construction includes new ramps for aircraft, an updated parking lot and improved landscaping.

Parking for Corporate Limousine Inc. Fleet Vehicles has been relocated to accommodate the construction.
In addition to Jet Aviation, there are two other FBO's at Hanscom; Rectrix which opened in 2014 and Signature Flight Support.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Corner Antiques 2 Opens at 52 Great Road

Corner Antiques 2 opened earlier this month at 52 Great Road which previously housed a showroom for Harvard Green Builders. I recently spoke with Jan McGrath, the owner of Corner Antiques 2. Jan originally opened up the first Corner Antiques at the old Blake Block in 2008 and then moved it around the corner to 53R Great Road.

The new shop looks directly on to Great Road
While Jan likes the current location and layout of her first Corner Antique store, it does not have high visibility from the main road so she decided to open up a second location. Although this location is smaller, it gets a lot more exposure. According to Jan, there already have been a number of people who noticed it while driving by and decided to stop in.

The store host a wide variety of antiques and collectibles.
As far as collectibles, Jan mentioned there is now less interest in traditional antiques and tchotchkes. She explained that many people from the next generation no longer want to wash dishes, dust or spend a lot of time cleaning antiques. On the flip side, she has seen a lot more interest in memorabilia, especially from the 1960's.

Two collectibles on display at the new store.

Jan gets most of her antiques and collectibles from auction and estate sales. She also takes some items on consignment. In addition to her two stores, Jan also offers estate sales management which involves advertising the sale itself, organizing merchandise, pricing and staging a home in order to maximize the value of it's assets.

The new store is currently open Friday to Sunday to start. She hopes to expand the hours in the next few months.

This new store should get a lot more exposure which should also help drive sales for the original store. Since the second stores has very limited hours, it was smart to add a sign referencing the original location. I'm wondering if adding the word annex to the name (i.e. Corner Antiques Annex) would make it more obvious that the main store was right nearby.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Elite Freestyle Karate is now open at 285 Great Road

Elite Freestyle Karate opened on May 31st at 285 Great Road in the space adjacent to Salem Five Bank. This location replaces their Lexington branch which recently closed. The business which has been around for about 25 years, has additional locations in Reading and Winchester.
The new space in Bedford is larger than the previous location in Lexington. There are now seats for people who wish to watch the classes.
I recently spoke with instructor Sensei Ethan Wager and Owner Gary Meyer. According to Ethan, Elite Freestyle Karate has been offering classes for Kids and Teens for many years. Recently they started getting requests from many parents who saw their kids enjoying the classes, so they added classes for adults. As the name implies, Freestyle combines many of the different types of Karate.

According to Gary, Elite Freestyle Karate is unique in that all of their instructors are full-time professional staff. Gary mentioned this is a rarity in the Martial Arts industry, where many companies employ part time instructors.

Students learn life skills including hand shakes and how to use their voice as a weapon
While the classes teach self defense techniques, as part of the process, students learn Confidence, Courage, Discipline, Respect and Strength. According to Ethan, many students eventually get their black belts. There is a big sign on the studio wall with the names of the students who have made a commitment to getting a black belt. Ethan mentioned when kids commit to their name on the wall, they are much more likely to get their black belt.

Ethan has found that the classes are very useful in building confidence, leadership skills and conflict resolution techniques. Students learn to look people in the eye. After a while, experienced students can get more involved by acting as secondary instructors which teaches them responsibility.

Elite Freestyle Karate is offering a Grand Opening promotion.
About 70% of students are Children between the ages of 3-12. Classes which can hold up to 20 students, are offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Fridays, Elite Freestyle Karate offers special educational programs that are open to all students.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

b.good Restaurant Reopens in Bedford Marketplace

b.good restaurant which closed last August as part of the Bedford Marketplace renovation, has reopened in a new building at 158 Great Road. The new restaurant is in a premium corner location with frontage on Great Road.

The new location has two entrances, including this one along Great Road
While the menu has stayed fairly consistent, the number of b.good locations has continued to grow to about 40. The chain has recently expanded to Canada and Switzerland.

The Grand Opening included Free Samples and Giveaways.
The new space is much more modern and includes about 60 seats. Outdoor dining has been expanded as well.

The interior features butcher block tables, lots of windows and high ceilings giving the restaurant an open feel.
As before, the menu focuses on burgers, fries, salads, shakes and vegetables. Most of the food is locally grown. In place of Heinz condiments, b.good features Sir Kensington's Ketchup, Mustard and Mayonnaise. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 9 pm daily except closes at 8 pm on Sundays.

The new outdoor seating area is much larger and no longer adjacent to the parking lot.
A 2014 picture of the old b.good location. This space was previously used by Cambridge Savings Bank

The new drink area is larger and has additional selections including four types of Lemonade. 

Most of the menu is sourced from the New England area.

First view of Bedford Marketplace's new "Greenway". Grass and additional landscaping is coming soon.
The new Greenway path uses stones in place of asphalt. 

While most of the Bedford Marketplace has undergone renovation., the current sign has
become ramshackle and is in need of replacement

Friday, May 20, 2016

Peppers Grille Coming Soon to Great Road Shopping Center

Peppers Grill is expected to open this Summer at 321 Great Road in the Great Road Shopping Center. The restaurant, which is taking over the space formerly occupied by Sparta, will feature Brick Oven Pizza and Gourmet Sandwiches along with regular entrees as well as Beer and Wine. The restaurant will also offer Breakfast on Saturday and Sundays.

Stay tuned for more details.

It's good to see they will be offering breakfast on weekends. This was sorely needed.