Wellesley Business Buzz: Time out for taco restaurant Lockheart; Getting busy at Gap space; Starbucks consolidates—for now – The Swellesley Report

Our roundup of the latest Wellesley MA business news:

Time out for taco restaurant Lockheart

The Select Board on Monday held a public hearing (last 15 minutes or of the Wellesley Media recording) regarding a Wellesley resident’s application for an All Alcoholic Beverages License and Entertainment License to be used at a proposed new restaurant called Lockheart at 102 Central St. in the former B. Good space next to the fire station.

Derek Brady, accompanied virtually by attorney David Himmelberger, outlined plans for Lockheart, a “casual but sophisticated” eatery where patrons could order up tacos-plus in southwestern-themed setting featuring saddle leather and light fixtures with antlers. Brady, who referred to several other restaurants he operates in the state, said Lockheart would have 120 seats and that the concept was inspired by findings from a study Babson students did on what’s needed in downtown Wellesley. He shared design mockups from a firm that worked on The Cottage in Wellesley as well as the Allston Tavern. Brady said the restaurant would be “a little bit different” for the area, but could help bring more life to that section of the Square.

Lockheart design mockup (via Wellesley Media recording)

Following the public hearing, the Select Board, along with town counsel and Police Chief Jack Pilecki went into a closed door (closed screen?) executive session to discuss Brady’s background, according to the meeting agenda. Don’t recall seeing anything like this happen recently.

When the group re-emerged to the public,  Select Board Chair Tom Ulfelder said the hearing would be continued for a week for the purpose of the applicant withdrawing his application. Himmelberger requested the 1-week continuance “to allow Mr. Brady further opportunity to reflect on his application.”

Getting busy at Gap space

Chain link fencing now surrounds the former Gap space at 74 Central St., in Wellesley Square, as construction gets underway in further transforming the spaced that was vacated at the end of 2020.

Property manager Linear Retail discussed over the summer plans to divvy up the space and snag a restaurant as a main tenant. You can see some of the construction underway inside that might lend itself to this result.

A construction outfit called Acella is on the job. It cites past work on restaurants such as Moe’s Southwestern Grill in Hanover and Plymouth, and a rowing gym in Boston.

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Starbucks consolidates—for now

The hiring squeeze appears to have forced the Starbucks cafes in Wellesley Square and Linden Square to cozy up. The Wellesley Square space will be closed from Nov. 10-Jan. 30, with staff joining forces in Linden Square.

Demian Wendrow, owner of Wellesley’s London Harness, recently spoke with WCVB-TV for a segment it ran on the difficulties businesses are having hiring people.

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