Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wall Bar Opens Inside The Great Wall Restaurant

The Wall Bar opened last Friday inside the Great Wall Restaurant at 309 Great Road in the Great Road Shopping Center. The new bar, which is sectioned off from the rest of the restaurant, features 8 seats at the actual bar and around 60 seats in the surrounding area.

The bar area features a mix of regular, high top, bar stool and booth seating.
While the Great Wall has had a full alcohol license and a service bar for many years, according to staff it was the recent changes to the Town of Bedford Alcohol Policy that made it a good time to move forward. Before the policy was updated in April, you had to order a full meal before you could order a drink. Many customers were going to Margaritas or Waxy O'Connors in Lexington.

The Great Wall staff felt there was no place in Bedford where you could get together after work or sports to meet up with friends for a drink and some food. Many Chinese restaurants have a bar, so they thought it would be a nice step up to add a sports bar.

The Wall Bar has five large screen TVs to watch sporting and other events.
Along with the interior renovation, The Great Wall also added a new cocktail menu along with several new bar type appetizers.

A new bar menu features several new appetizers
Currently the restaurant hours are the same (9:15 during the week and 10:15 on weekends) while they see how the new sports bar does. They do have the ability to stay open until 11 pm if there is demand.

It's intriguing to see the economic effects of the updated alcohol policy. Along with the renovations to The Great Wall, the former Boardroom Bistro restaurant is undergoing a complete renovation and will soon re-open as an Italian Restaurant Cucina D. It will be interesting if the new sports bar can also attract events from Bedford groups, for example the Bedford Education Foundation has usually held it's Winter Bash event in Lexington.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Demolition Begins at 54 Loomis Street for The Crossing Mixed Use Residential and Retail Project

Rear View of 54 Loomis Street Building Coming Down
After several delays, demolition is currently underway at 54 Loomis Street. The current building, which was last used as corporate offices for Pharmalucence Inc, was originally built in the 1960's as an ice skating rink.

Demolition Started at the Rear of the Building
The two new buildings, known as The Crossing at Bedford will house 19 apartments and just under 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The project is expected to be completed by next Summer.

Artist Depiction - View from Loomis Street. This building will house retail on most of the first floor.

View from Depot Park. A new pathway on this side of the building will connect Loomis Street with the Bike Path

Front of Building B. This building contains some design elements similar to the Depot Building

Rear of Building B. This building is set back from Loomis Street

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Updates at Great Road Shopping Center: Great Wall Adds Sports Bar and Mattress World Closes

While there are ongoing renovations and lots of updates at Bedford Market Place, a few changes have also taken place at the Great Road Shopping Center.

Mattress World has now closed. The 5200 square foot space has been fully vacated. The company, which now has nine locations south of Boston, closed the Bedford location after being open less than two years and also recently closed their South Yarmouth store.

Right next door, The Great Wall Restaurant  is finishing up an interior renovation that adds a sports bar. While there were initial plans to add a sushi bar, the restaurant decided to add a sports bar featuring multiple large screen televisions. The new bar which is expected to open next week, has 7 bar stools along with a high top seating area. Stay tuned for more details next week.

It's interesting to see that the shopping center is also listing the adjacent Radio Shack space as available for lease although that store is still open. In addition, over the next year Staples (which also has a location in Great Road Shopping Center) is expected to close over 10% of it's stores in the United States. The list of locations that will be closing has not yet been announced.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Verizon Wireless Store Coming to Blue Ribbon Plaza

Interior work has started on what is expected to be a new Verizon Wireless store at 186 Great Road in Blue Ribbon Plaza. This space which is about 1500 square feet, was the former location of Quiznos which closed last December.

There was previously a Verizon Wireless store in Bedford Market Place. That store which was run by an authorized agent, closed suddenly in March of 2012 after being open for about 4 years.

It's interesting to note that the old Verizon store was replaced by Subway while the old Quiznos store was replaced by Verizon Wireless.

Stay tuned for more details.