While Wellesley is pockmarked with plenty of empty storefronts from business closings or moving as 2017 comes to a close, the town has also gained a slew of new retailers.
Church Square has undergone perhaps the most change in 2017. Earlier in the year, legendary restaurant Blue Ginger closed its doors, as did neighboring cafe Susu Bakery. Steakhouse Smith & Wollensky will soon replace Blue Ginger, while a Mexican restaurant is rumored to be sliding into Susu’s spot. The Lyn Evans store closed (but re-opened as a holiday pop-up), and the year ends with the departure of decor and accessories store Xylem and fine arts/crafts gallery Terrazza.
But there were also new signs of life at Church Square in 2017. Alba Boutique, the women’s clothing shop that came to town in 2016, changed its name to Sloane & Ivy, and then Fastachi, the roasted and chocolate-covered nut emporium, opened its doors in time for the holiday shopping season. And across from Church Square at the Belclare condo/retail complex, signs for shops planning to open in 2018 have begun to appear.
Wellesley Square also underwent big changes over the past 12 months. Furniture shop Stuart Swan, and its giant SOLD sign, moved on. The b.good restaurant took over Boloco’s space next to the Central Street fire station and Cocobeet added juice to Wellesley, which also added juice bar Pressed Juicery in Linden Square. The void left by Yogurtology in late 2016 next door to Old School Pizzeria remains. Ella Pava Footwear stepped into the old Salon Danilo space at 85 Central St., though that storefront was papered over at last check, and its sister site, Ava Boutique, has also closed after a two-year run in town. And B/Spoke added cycling excitement to Wellesley Square.
Naturepedic, which sells mattresses and other bedroom wares, found a cozy spot at the Whole Foods plaza in a space formerly occupied by The Clean Bedroom. As for Whole Foods, well, it got acquired by Amazon and gained some lockers — as well as permission from the town to sell beer and wine.
Consignment shop 2nd Time Around was shuttered in Wellesley Square, and the Elan consignment shop on Washington Street gave up on its foray into home furnishings and decor, and that part of the building is now Bride’s Dream. (Elan still is open for business selling fine designer clothing and accessories.)
Linden Square is in the midst of a makeover that includes the arrival soon of salad shop Sweetgreen, plus a revitalized Cottage restaurant. Talbots made the big move from Wellesley Square to Linden Square in March, and Glow Golf departed. 5 Bites Cupcakes also closed its doors in Wellesley.
And for something completely different, Action Athletics and its ninja warrior and obstacle course training facility opened at the old City Sports building.