Our roundup of the latest Wellesley MA business news:
Laughing Monk Cafe hopes to open in January
Laughing Monk Cafe plans to expand beyond its Huntington Avenue location in Boston to a spot in Wellesley Square come January. As we reported earlier this month, it will locate at 90 Central St., former home of home decor store Florijn in between the Alta Strada restaurant and a bank.
Laughing Monk’s Dome Nakapakorn explains why Wellesley: “First of all, we are very excited about our new project in Wellesley. As many of our regular customers are from this area and had been asking us to consider opening another establishment in their town, we had been waiting for the right moment to initiate the plan.”
The restaurant connected with Linear Retail to get the deal done in 1,200 sq. ft. of usable space, enough for a “cozy 20 seats.” The challenge will be converting the space to a restaurant site, going through the permit gauntlet, etc.
As for the all-important menu, Nakapakorn says: “Chef Nick Korboon is laid back, imaginative, and passionate about growing his own herb gardening. His unique sushi menu and omakase course clearly demonstrate his passion for fresh Thai herbs, such as basil, chili, and kaffir lime. We also offer small Thai menu for those who are not fans of uncooked fish.”
More details will be forthcoming in months to come.
So too will details about how Laughing Monk hopes to support the community. “During the opening period, we would like to invite local non-profit organizations to help introduce us to the community while raising funds for their causes. This would be good for all of us,” Nakapakorn says.
Photo-shy Chase Bank arrives
Chase Bank has opened its location at the former Peet’s Coffee spot at 9 Central St.
We stopped by on their big first day to take a couple of interior pics but this local was unable to stick around while they got the OK from corporate somewhere or another. For those who may not get the chance to peek in, the lobby includes teller windows, and is personalized with white “Hello, Wellesley” lettering against a navy-blue wall. There’s a seating area with a couple of upholstered chairs, and a grey modular sofa facing a flat screen tv that broadcasts Chase banking information. Several offices offer privacy for banker/client meetings. 24-hour ATMs are also available.
Oh well, here’s the outside, which you’ve probably already passed by a bunch of times. Unlike anytime we ever went to Peet’s, a parking space in Chase’s small customers-only lot was immediately available. That doesn’t mean we don’t miss our old coffee haunt. Just that the little things are helping us adjust.
Meanwhile, Chase will receive a not-so-warm welcome on Friday, Oct. 29 from 4-pm in the form of a climate action demonstration by those against JPMorgan Chase’s fossil fuel investments.
Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s vaccinated
Laurel Grove, the home decor and gift store with a farmhouse vibe, has moved to a larger location in Wellesley Square, just a couple doors down from the spot it’s been in for a little over a year. The grand opening will take place on Nov. 6 & 7, with giveaways (always fun), and pictures with Santa (definitely not free).