Thursday, May 29, 2008

Northside Convenience Store and Gas Station Coming to Bedford

The old Gammys General Store at 44 North Rd is being remodeled. A new gas station and convenience store are coming soon and will be named Northside Convenience. The new gas station is sorely needed. A few years back, Bedford had six gas stations, now only three remain (Sunoco, Shell and Exxon). More details to follow.

Remodeling has begun for the new Northside Convenience Store and Gas Station. The second floor which was formerly occupied by The Callahan Kenpo Karate Studio, is still available for rent.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bedford Stop and Shop Undergoes Renovation

The Bedford Stop and Shop has recently begin renovations to make the store more inviting. I spoke to Stop and Shop about the renovation. The most noticeable changes will be a larger produce area with new fixtures and an expanded natural food section. They will also be adding a full service meat case which will feature a much wider selection of marinated meats and some prepared foods in an effort to better compete with Whole Foods. Some of the flooring will also be replaced with the new style "wood" laminate. As part of the update, the outside facade will also be replaced with an more modern design. The store will remain open during the renovation.

The exterior facade has chipping paint and is in need of an overhaul.

No changes are expected for the Pharmacy, Dunkin' Donuts or Citizen Bank. The checkouts will stay the same as well. The one change I wish they would make, is having more than one cashier working in the later evening. I have frequently seen 10-20 people in line and only one lane open and the self checkout is closed as well. What's the point of having self checkout if you close it?

In any case, the renovation work is expected to be completed by the middle of July and it is likely there will be some type of "re-grand opening" at that time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bedford Depot Freight House Closes For Renovations

Renovation has started on the Bedford Freight House which is located at Depot Park at the end of the Minuteman Bikeway. The Freight House was originally used by the Billerica and Bedford Railroad to house it's train engines. While the building is too small to house a regular train engine, the Billerica and Bedford Railroad was one of the first in the country to use a 2 foot narrow gauge track (most "standard gauge" tracks are just over 4.5 feet wide). After the Billerica and Bedford Railroad went out of business, the Freight House was taken over by the Boston and Maine Railroad. Since the Boston and Maine Railroad used a wider gauge track, it's engines would not fit and the building was used as a Freight Shed by the railroad. The railroad sold the building in the 1950's and over the next 40 years, it was used for a variety of retail businesses. About 10 years ago the building was sold to the Town of Bedford and is now run by the Friends of Depot Park which use the depot to provide drinks and snacks as well as historical information about Bedford's Railroad History to users of the Minuteman Bikeway.

As previously noted, money has recently been appropriated by the state for the renovation of the Freight House. The renovation includes a complete overhaul and will include public bathrooms and a information Kiosk containing a map of Bedford and local points of interest.

The renovation work started last month and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

ACE Hardware Now Open next to Stop and Shop

While the official grand opening celebration for the new Moison ACE Hardware is scheduled for May 30th, the hardware store quietly opened earlier this week and the new sign just went up. As part of the opening, the new ACE Hardware has mailed coupons to most Bedford residents for a discount on their first purchase. I think this was a smart idea to get people in to the new store and get a feel for the items they stock. I recently visited the store and I think they will do very well if they keep their focus on customer service (they were able to find me an item that I previously looked for at both Home Depot and Lowe's).