Monday, April 29, 2013

Bedford Whole Foods Holds Grand Reopening

The Whole Foods in Bedford Marketplace has just completed a Multi-Million Dollar interior renovation. As previously reported, the renovation included; an expanded salad bar, a soup and rotisserie chicken station, a new sit down coffee and juice bar, a new cooking department as well as an expanded cafe seating area with a children's play area.

The new cooking department holds cooking demos and also features cooking coaches giving advice to customers about recipes and how to make specific dishes.

The new seating area is larger and has a more open air feel.

The Kid's play area is expected to open soon.

As part of the Grand Reopening, Bedford Whole Foods set up a vendors area outside with free food and promotions for customers.

The vendors area featured free samples, cooking demonstrations, coupons and more.

The vendors area was a good idea. Rather than just promoting itself, Whole Foods made the decision to make it's vendors the focus of the Grand Reopening. This gave the opportunity for customers and vendors to directly talk to each other.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Panera Bread Set to Open on May 1st

The Panera Bread at 213 Burlington Road is set to Open on May 1st. While not "Officially" open, Panera Bread held a benefit to raise money for Bedford High School on April 24th. The new Panera Bread, which joins 3 other restaurants (Bamboo, Flatbread and Melting Pot) in the building, is primarily focused on take out and delivery. This is a new concept for Panera Bread. For customers who want to eat in, there is now a common lobby area with seating that is open to the public. The restaurant is scheduled to be open from 6am-10pm (Sundays 7am-9pm).

As part of the agreement to open, the property owner added 48 additional parking spaces in front of the building.

1. This building has become a mini-hub for restaurants. It will be interesting to see if these restaurants drive more retail to the building or nearby areas. For example there are vacant office buildings a few doors down, would be interesting to see an extended hotel come in.
2. The common seating area seems like a good idea and may encourage more business for the restaurants. You could have a few people pick up lunch at the different restaurants (or even bring their own) and then get together to eat.
3. It will be interesting to see how well this concept works for Panera Bread. With all the businesses nearby and right off route 3, it looks like they picked a good location to test.
4. The new parking spaces seem like it will also benefit Melting Pot. Previously the closest place to park for Melting Pot was in the garage next door (209 Burlington Road).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bedford Rugs Returns to Blake Block

Bedford Rugs has returned to the Blake Block. After relocating in the fall of 2011 to 200 Great Road, the store has moved back to 68 Great Road. I recently spoke with Mohammad Nazir, the owner of Bedford Rug. According to Mohammad, while he made the move back last week, he's still settling in and he expects the layout of the store to be complete in the next few days.

Bedford Rugs features both handwoven and machine made rugs. In addition to selling rugs, they also clean and restore them. Mohammad thinks his new location has a lot more visibility and he also expects to pick up some additional foot traffic as the other retailers on the block open up. He's currently planning on staying open Monday through Saturday and half the day on Sunday.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bedford Subway Expected to Open Around May 4th

Construction of the Subway Restaurant at 170 Great Road in Bedford Marketplace is almost complete. According to Franchise owners Harshil Parikh and Niral Ghandi, the new restaurant, which is replacing a Verizon store is expected to open around May 4th. They are planning a lot of promotions in the first three months. While they have a lot of experience in the hotel and hospitality industry, this will be their first Subway franchise.

Interior construction is just abut complete. While there is still some remaining outside cleanup and signage, the restaurant is expected to open in a few weeks.

Harshil mentioned they are looking forward to becoming actively involved within the Bedford Community and are planning some special recycling efforts. There are currently five Subways in Burlington and three in Billerica.

Stay tuned for more details.

This is one of two new restaurants coming to Bedford Marketplace. Work has just started on another restaurant across the parking lot.

The former Cambridge Savings Bank will become a b.good, which is a fast casual restaurant focusing on Burgers, Salads and Shakes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ginger Japanese Restaurant Set to Reopen on Wednesday

Ginger Japanese Restaurant now at 88 Great Road is set to open on Wednesday. This will be the first retail business to open in the new Blake Block building. Ginger (which was forced to close in the summer of 2011 so the old building could be torn down) is almost three times larger than the original restaurant. While the building is new, the previous menu will be returning along with a few new items.

View of the main dining room. The restaurant has 80 seats.

Seasonal outdoor dining will be available on the new patio.

The new Sushi Bar is expected to seat eight. Click here to view the updated menu.

It's good to see the first retail business finally open on the Blake Block. From looking at the interior construction, it looks like the other businesses such as Ken's Deli are only a few months from opening. The new restaurants should help revitalize this area of town. I expect the outdoor seating to be do well. It should be a good spot during the summer concerts on the common series

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cafe Keresa is now The Great Road Cafe

Cafe Keresa at 119 Great Road, which just opened in December after Cafe Darling closed in October, has undergone a renovation and re-opened as The Great Road Cafe on March 30th. The restaurant, which has had a partial change in ownership has also made a few changes to the menu and is now open for dinner, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

The renovation has resulted in more space for customers as well as a menu more focused on meals than desserts. Click on the image to zoom in.

The indoor seating area features 18 seats. The patio features outdoor seating.