Wellesley Business Buzz: Town mulling more help for restaurants, retailers; Wellesley Goes Pink; Home Decor coming to Hills; Momentum on the move

Our roundup of the latest Wellesley MA business news:

Town mulling more help for restaurants, retailers

During the Wellesley Select Board meeting on on Monday, at about the 1-hour mark on the Wellesley Media recording, discussion turned to efforts underway to help restaurants, retailers, and commercial property managers thrive.

Executive Director Meghan Jop said Monday that the town was on the verge of getting state approval for a reduced seating requirement for restaurants to get alcohol licenses in town.

An article on this month’s Special Town Meeting warrant would remove the special permit requirement for outdoor dining on private property, and a potential article for Annual Town Meeting in the Spring would allow for outdoor dining in designated areas of Town property, such as we’ve seen with Juniper in Wellesley Square.

Also potentially on tap for the Annual Town Meeting warrant would be an freshened-up article drafted by Assistant Executive Director Amy Frigulietti before the pandemic addressing the town’s empty storefront situation. This would provide for a bylaw that would enable the town to work with property owners to help fill storefronts that have been vacant for some period of time or channel funds into a pool used to support artists who would at least beautify the property until a tenant is found “so it didn’t look so blighted.” There could also be a registry of property status to help fire and police departments when responding to incidents at such locations. The draft article is based on one from Arlington that has been effective according to their economic development director, Frigulietti said.

Select Board member Beth Sullivan Woods said the town has learned a lot about vacant storefronts during the pandemic and has made strides collaborating with property owners to allow pop-up art show and other displays to keep such locations lively. She noted that having a fund to support such activities would be key, as insurance and various supplies, such as for hanging art, need to be paid for.

Wellesley businesses going pink to raise breast cancer awareness

Wellesley Goes Pink brings together local businesses and members of the community in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From Oct. 17-23, participants are decorating their storefronts pink, hosting an event, donating a percentage of sales or collecting contributions in support of the Ellie Fund.

Ellie Fund

Home Decor coming to Hills

Home Decor Group, a chain of paint & more stores that has a location in Linden Street, will soon be setting up a new shop in Wellesley Hills at the former Walgreens space near Subway and Quebrada.

We’ve sent a message to the firm to learn whether this will be an additional location in town, or involve a move of the existing site. It sure looks like the existing business is on the move.

Home Decor Group

Momentum on the move

Momentum Dance, which had been operating at 141 Linden St. (formerly the LINX Dance Studio location), has begun offering classes at 165 Linden St. (next to Neena’s) in Linden Square. The business grew out of the LINX program.

Momentum offers recreational and competitive dance classes.

A temporary sign was in place when we swung by this week, but a permanent one was in the works.