All of Wellesley’s shopping hotspots, from Linden Square to Wellesley Square to Church Square to Wellesley Hills underwent big changes in 2016. Here’s a look back, and ahead:
On the food front, Boloco bid farewell after 4 years next to the fire station in Wellesley Square, and opened the door for BFF b.good to take its place in early 2017.
Caffe Nero replaced an art gallery and dry cleaner at the historic Wellesley Hills train station. The former La Riviera cafe spot in Wellesley Hills remained unoccupied, though speculation swirled about a bank moving in. (Century Bank also moved its location from Wellesley Square to Wellesley Hills, and Webster Bank swooped in to take over the old Citibank space on Central Street.)
Thirst Juice got the healthy juice game started on Grove Street, becoming the first retail client to fill a space at the Belclare complex. Fellow juice & more company Cocobeet (which like Thirst Juice has a Boston location too) opened in early 2017 at the former Wellesley Toy Shop space (and don’t worry Wellesley Toy Shop just moved next door).
Yogurtology melted down late in 2016, leaving an opening next door to Old School Pizzeria in Wellesley Square. And speaking of pizza, Cook’s Window Pizza slid into the storefront previously occupied by Wellesley Hills House of Pizza.
Ace Hardware’s departure from Linden Square was among the more notable closings during 2016, especially since Talbots is slated to leave Wellesley Square and take over that space in 2017. It should be interesting to see what replaces Talbots, along with fellow clothing store Chico’s, in Wellesley Square this year.
Also on the fashion front, Alex and Ani departed Wellesley Square, paving the way for a real estate firm to move in. The Turnabout Shoppe closed after 25 years in town, making way for consignment shop Closet Exchange over near Truly Yogurt.
There remains no shortage of beauty places in town. The Be Styled hair drying salon breezed out of Wellesley Square, only to be quickly replaced by beauty boutique Mane + Mani. Luxotic Nails Bar and Bluemercury moved in to Linden Square, Beauti Lux Spa replaced LittleBits Toys, Privi salon replaced The Color Studio in Wellesley Square, and an eyebrow threading salon slid in to the former Your French Gift shop in Wellesley Hills.
The Haberdashery and NRO Kids quietly left Church Square, but that shopping area gained a couple of lively new stores, Xylem and Alba Boutique, to complement existing shops such as Cachet and Terrazza.
While on the subject of gift shops, Cafe Mangal-affiliated Muna Gifts closed up its Wellesley Square space early in 2016 (some gift items can still be purchased through the restaurant) and was replaced by the returning dress designer Anna Nieman. The Sundry Spot popped up in Linden Square offering curated gift services. And if the gift of music is more your style, Bach to Rock opened up for music lessons in Linden Square, too.
Big spaces remain unfilled at the Belclare complex on Washington Street and Grove Street, along with the old City Sports location. If all this has worn you out, then you might want to head over to Naturepedic, an organic bedding store in the Whole Foods plaza that recently replaced the now-defunct The Clean Bedroom store, or Mattress Firm, the new version of Sleepy’s in Linden Square.