Wellesley still has plenty of open business space from one end of town to the other, but 2011 saw a handful of interesting new or revamped businesses open, while others shuffled positions.
Whole Foods Market grabbed the biggest headlines, moving west from its Wellesley Hills location to the old Star Market/Tian Fu space next to the Hunnewell fields. Brookline Bank will soon be sidling up next to the supermarket in the old Rite-Aid space.
A Pinkberry frozen yogurt shop opened in Linden Square during August and generated lots of buzz, plus a super long line on opening night as fans flocked for freebies.
J.P. Licks and Old School Pizzeria added new options for eating out in town, with Old School (replacing College Square Pizza) being operated by Wellesley native Joe Perdoni, Jr., and J.P. Licks (replacing The Body Shop) bringing its unique style for those seeking ice cream, coffee and more. Next up for J.P. Licks: Possibly some musical entertainment.
City Sports took over the old St. Moritz space, not far from longtime Wellesley business Marathon Sports, while tabletop/host gifts store Pine Straw occupied the former Sports Replay space across the street in October.
PrimeTime Lacrosse, a business started by Babson grads, nestled in on Crest Road beginning on Marathon Monday.
The Monogrammed Cottage filled the old Trappings space in Wellesley Square, offering unique apparel and accessories.
Staccato, a women’s clothing and accessories shop, relocated from Newton Highlands to Linden Square.
Wellesley continued to bulk up on banks, with locally-owned First Commons Bank opening in Linden Square in August.
Wellesley got a little smarter, too, with the opening of the Russian School of Mathematics at 376 Washington St.
It’s not located on the main drags, but professional services startup Mobiquity set up headquarters on Laurel Avenue and is growing fast as it seeks to meet demand of companies trying to figure out how to best exploit the move to mobile applications.
Realtor Century 21 did a little moving itslef, picking up and leaving its Wellesley Hills spot for the old funeral parlor space next to the old Wellesley Inn space across from Blue Ginger. William Raveis Real Estate moved from 50 Central St., across the Square to where Ann Taylor resided for years.
Thunder Sports hasn’t quite vacated its space in Wellesley Square yet, but the sports equipment and apparel business is clearing out after 20 or so years.
Larry Corda, who opened his first barber shop in town in 1958, closed Larry’s Barber Shop at 153 Linden St.
Rosie’s Bakery in Wellesley Square couldn’t put up with the rents in town and bowed out during the spring, after quietly going dark.
Rugged Bear vacated its prime corner location at 34 Central St., when the company filed for bankruptcy protection and liquidated.
Another longtime Wellesley Square tenant — Ann Taylor — closed up in January after 14 years here.
On Rte. 9 in Wellesley, New England Rug Gallery closed up, citing the recession. The business had been there since 2005.
Look for First Republic Bank to slide into the old Blockbuster Video space in Wellesley Hills around spring and for Wellesley Bank, in the middle of an IPO bid, to add a branch at the old Century 21 space in Lower Falls on Washington St. Gustare Oils & Vinegars — expanding beyond Cape Cod — is hoping to open its doors in Wellesley Square by year-end, and Lacrosse Unlimited is plotting its takeover of the Rosie’s space in Wellesley Square. Jin’s Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar is set to fill in the space once occupied by Bobby’s Grille in Lower Falls. A new barber shop will replace Larry’s on Linden Street. Burrito, wrap and smoothie store Boloco is also aiming to open next year in the spot next to the Wellesley Square fire station.