Thursday, November 21, 2019

Upcoming Changes to Bedford's Restaurant Scene

November brings lots of Restaurant news to Bedford.

1. Posto at 158 Great Road in Bedford Marketplace is scheduled to open before the end of the month. The restaurant, which is owned by the Alpine Restaurant Group has an existing Posto restaurant in Davis Square in Somerville. Posto replaces Comella's which closed in March.

In addition to Comella's, Posto has also acquired the adjacent vacant space and will have over 200 seats.

2. Interior work on the Minuteman Diner at 363 Great Road in the Great Road Village shopping center has been completed. The restaurant is now waiting on final inspections and plans to open later in November. The diner which has a full liquor license, will serve Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The restaurant has managed to acquire the Birthday Bell from the old Chadwick's Ice Cream Parlor in Waltham. Stay tuned for more details. UPDATE: The Opening may be delayed.

The Diner replace D'Angelo's Sandwich Shop which closed in November 2018
3. Work on Tashan Restaurant is expected to begin soon next to Club Champion Golf at 213 Burlington Road. The new restaurant is expected to focus on Tapas Style Indian food and will have about 120 seats. This will be the fifth restaurant in the building,  joining Flatbread Pizza, Bamboo, Panera Bread and The Melting Pot. The owners of Tashan also run Gourmet India which has locations at the Burlington Mall and Quincy Market in Boston.

Tashan restaurant will be two doors down from Panera Bread.
4. The Former Papa Gino's location at 310 Great Road has been sold. The new owner has proposed a mixed use project with retail on the first floor and condos on the 2nd and 3rd floors. No word yet on the type of retail businesses expected.

The property was last listed at  $1.625 Million.

5. Renovations are underway at 36 North Road on what will be the new location of Prince Street Cafe. The Cafe which was previously located at 200 Great Road, will occupy the first floor with residential on the 2nd floor. The project which was originally expected to replace the current building, has been updated to renovate the existing building. Prince Street Cafe has an additional location in an office building at 24 Hartwell Avenue in Lexington.

This was the former location of Fitzgerald's Package Store which closed in October 2017
Former Bedford location of Prince Street Cafe. The space is currently vacant.

The directory at 200 Great Road shows Bedford House of Beef in the former location of Prince Street. It is unknown if or when House of Beef will be moving.
6. The Lexington location of Margaritas Mexican Restaurant at 438 Bedford Street is closing on November 23rd. This location has been open since 2010 and formerly housed a Denny's.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Orthopaedics Plus is Now Open at 54 Middlesex Turnpike

Orthopaedics Plus opened earlier this year at 54 Middlesex Turnpike. The clinic, which moved from Burlington also has a location in Beverly. I recently spoke with Dr. Justin Pezick and Dr. Mike Stare who are the current owners of Orthopaedics Plus.

Orthopaedics Plus was formed in 1986 by Al Visnick, Bill Antonelli and Vinny Buscemi. A second location opened in Burlington a few years later. Mike joined Orthopaedics Plus in 2006 as a Physical Therapist in Beverly and shortly thereafter founded Spectrum Fitness Consulting. Orthopaedics Plus and Spectrum Fitness partnered together with adjacent spaces in Beverly. About 90% of Spectrum's original clients were former patients at Orthopaedics Plus. Justin joined Orthopaedics Plus in 2015 as a clinician in the Burlington office and quickly became very interested in a management role. Mike and Justin decided they complemented each other very well, and decided to purchase the business. They officially took ownership on January 1st 2018. The previous owners still work for the company as Clinicians.

Last year, their lease of 2,000 square feet in Burlington was coming up for renewal and they thought it would be a good time to move, as there was no easy way to expand in their existing building. Their first step was to survey their customers about moving. They got strong feedback that staying nearby was important (most of their client base lives nearby with about 10-15% who live much further away but work in the area). Both Justin and Mike met with many local building owners in Burlington, Lexington and Bedford to explain their vision of where they wanted to go with Orthopaedics Plus. They realized that most of the building owners wanted to take their vision and attempt to incorporate it in to their currently available spaces which did not work well. They then met with Kevin Curran, the owner of 54 Middlesex Turnpike (which was undergoing a total renovation). They were excited that Kevin was able to understand their vision and told them he would work with them to build out a space around their vision rather than try to shoe horn it in to an existing space. They went ahead and signed the lease.

All the equipment is new and the main treatment area  is much larger than their previous location in Burlington.

Build out started in 2018 and they moved in to their new space in January of this year. The new facility is almost three times the size at 5800 square feet. With the move, they decided to open a Bedford location of Spectrum Fitness inside of Orthopaedics Plus. Both Mike and Justin thought it made sense to combine the physical therapy and fitness facility. Justin explained how they tend to cross promote each other (clients getting physical therapy frequently want to get in better shape and fitness clients frequently need help with injuries or related issues). As far as the space itself, the physical therapy portion is about 4K with about 1200 square feet for Spectrum Fitness and the rest of the space is divided up between customer reception and administrative offices.

Treatment table. The new facility is well lit and features wood flooring.
The thing they like best about their new space is the glass wall that separates the physical therapy section from Spectrum Fitness. It maintains a line of sight which provides inspiration for many physical therapy patients. Mike explained how many times the physical therapy patients are seeing people on the other side of the glass lifting weights, doing squats and more. The patients are then generally very surprised to hear that many of those people were previous on their side of the glass in physical therapy for the same exact thing they are there for. The patient will then often see the light in how much they will be able to do if they keep working at it. Both Justin and Mike revealed that this has been very fulfilling for the physical therapists themselves.

The main workout room at Spectrum Fitness features a wide variety of equipment

As part of the move, Orthopaedics Plus also upgraded their software and patient records. This enabled them to shift a lot of staff time previously spent on administrative tasks to a more patient centric focus such as following up with appointments or checking in with patients to see how they are feeling.

The new space is very open and has lots of windows.
Spectrum Fitness focuses on both nutrition and strengthening exercises. Mike explained how it's important to tailor the program to the specific needs and abilities of the client. So they provide a free one hour assessment to prospective clients. Unlike traditional gyms such as Planet Fitness, most clients don't just stop by to use the gym. Instead they attend scheduled classes or one on one personal training. Because of this, Spectrum only offers a 6, 12 or 18 months commitment. The Spectrum Fitness instructors have weekly rounds where they check in with clients to see how everything is going and catch most issues before they become big problems. Justin gave an example where a fitness client twisted their ankle. Typically a person might wait a few weeks before seeing a medical professional. With rounds, the physical therapists can take a quick look right away and provide immediate advice on it. Both Justin and Mike explained how this increases the efficiency of health care.

Both companies share the common area.

Now that they are fully moved in, Justin and Mike have started to focus on reaching out to the local community. They are currently working with local Councils on Aging by providing seminars on nutrition, exercise, fall prevention and related topics. They also provide no cost seminars to nearby companies on a variety of health and wellness topics such as ergonomics and corporate wellness.

54 Middlesex Turnpike building has undergone a complete renovation. Compare the before and after. Along with Orthopaedics Plus, Barrel House Z Brewery/Restaurant is expected to open later this year.
The new facility which employs close to 25 people, is generally open from 6am to 7pm during the work week and is closed on Weekends. The formal Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting is set for May 17th.

1. Combining fitness centers to Physical Therapy practices seems to be a growing trend. In Bedford, Well Effect has also combined practices.
2. It's good to see developers work closely with tenants on a shared vision.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Posto Restaurant to Open Second Location in Bedford Marketplace

Posto Restaurant, which has an existing location in Davis Square in Sommerville, is planning to open a second location at 158 Great Road in Bedford Marketplace replacing Comella's. Posto which specializes in wood fired Neapolitan Pizza and Italian cuisine, is part of the Alpine Restaurant Group which also operates the Burro Bar, Osteria Posto, Painted Burro and Rosebud restaurants.

The new restaurant has recently gotten approval to transfer over the Alcohol License from Comella's. Posto is planning to expand in to the empty space next door, increasing the size of the restaurant from around 3,600 square feet to 6,300 square feet. Posto is expected to have up to 200 seats up from around 85 seats with Comella's.

Posto is planning to take over the space currently occupied by Comella's and the adjacent vacant space..
The recent rezoning of the Bedford Great Road districts currently limits the size of restaurants to 5,000 square feet. According to the Bedford Planning Board, this was an oversight. The Planning Board is proposing an update to the zoning to allow a restaurant over 5,000 square feet upon the approval of a special permit. The updated zoning proposal is expect to be voted on in March. No word yet on how long Comella's will remain open.

This storefront has remained vacant since this new building in Bedford Marketplace opened in 2016.

1. Having a second full service restaurant in Bedford Marketplace will increase foot traffic which will help drive business for the other tenants in the Marketplace. It will likely also help with leasing out the remaining three empty store fronts. Also will be good to have another place for local businesses to take their clients to.

2. Comella's never really seemed that busy. Some informal feedback from residents was that the food at their other locations seemed better.

3. Posto will be located a few door doors down from the Bedford POST Office.