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Visions for Vacancies in Lexington: 1728 Mass Ave

What would you like to see in the former home of Chestnut Hill Estate Sales.

Welcome to Visions for Vacancies, a Patch feature and a place where you can weigh in with your ideas about what kind of businesses you’d like to see occupying empty storefronts around town.

Each week, we’ll highlight a vacant building, storefront or structure around town. And we’ll leave it you, the Lexington community, to sound off on what you’d like to see there before any plans go before town boards.

This week we’re taking a look at 1728 Mass Ave., the former home of Chestnut Hill Gallery and a vacant storefront in Lexington Center.

The sign on the window advertises retail space for lease. But what would you like to behind those brick and glass walls? The area has several places to grab a bite and assorted retail offerings, but maybe you have an idea of what would compliment existing businesses or fill a void of what’s lacking in Lexington Center.

So, if you had your way—and, for the purpose of this discussion, let’s try not to focus too much on zoning restrictions or —what would be your vision for this vacancy? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Paul Rubin March 21, 2012 at 04:03 PM
A book store would be nice. Maybe with a combination of new and used books, and offering services (author signings, discussion group, ordering) that would make it a viable alternative to shopping online and Barnes & Noble. So, for purposes of discussion, that's what I would like to see.
bija satterlee March 21, 2012 at 04:09 PM
A hip seafood restaurant with tapas options and a bar. Something beautifully ethnic yet family friendly.
Peggy Enders March 21, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I'd like to see an expanded bicycle shop with a good repair service, larger range of bikes, helmets, equipment for sale and -- most especially -- for rent. I'd like to see Lexington become better known as a destination for bicyclists, given that the Bikeway runs as a sort of spine through the entire town, and it's on a very popular bike route for on-street cycling as well. So more bike stuff for sale/rent in town!!
John Stayn March 21, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I agree with Paul Rubin, a bookstore would be nice to have, perhaps not unlike the Upper Story shop that had a great variety of used titles. Currently the only used books for sale seem to be at Cary Library.
Patrick Ball (Editor) March 21, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Great ideas so far, you guys. Keep 'em coming!
Julie Duncan March 21, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I'd love to see a high-end clothing consignment shop, like Second Time Around.
Patrick Ball (Editor) March 21, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Hi Julie, Thanks for reading and commenting. It appears a high-end consignment shop called Revolve will be opening next month right across the street from this location. There are two locations in Belmont. I've left them a few messages but haven't heard back yet. According to a poster on the front window, they'll be accepting consignments starting Patriots' Day weekend.
Paul Rubin March 21, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Oh...and a pub would be nice. Not a restaurant with a bar....but a real pub serving local craft beer where locals could hang out.
John Stayn March 21, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I just took a walk through the center and ended up wondering what residents thought about the number of banks, compared to the number of bookstores, pubs, and consignment stores. What does the number of banks say about the accessibility of Lexington Center to small businesses?
jane March 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Banks and real estate offices seem to be our most accessible destinations in the center. I personally would love a place to have breakfast-I miss the Pewter Pot type of restaurant that was here when we moved into town. And some family restaurants that are not Italian or Asian would be nice.
Marisa Kearney March 22, 2012 at 12:42 AM
This discussion is great! I can speak for my husband and about 10 of our friends in saying we'd love to see a pub. A great little historic tavern with local beers would be perfect. My #2 and #3 votes would be for a breakfast type place and a seafood restaurant.
Ted Enderson March 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Couple of ideas: - A restaurant/bar where people could meet and get to know each other - A diner with a nice breakfast bar where people could meet - A restaurant where parents could take their kids to do arts and crafts, games
Jennie March 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Annas Taqueria, Comella's, or a pub
Arlene Silva March 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM
In order of preference, I would love to see a nice pub/bar, breakfast/brunch place, or clothing store (to make up for the loss of Cohoes!)
MJ Donovan March 22, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I think that a breakfast/brunch place like the one we used to have on Mirriam Street (name?) would be great, but a consignment shop would be even better, or a lower-cost clothing store like the old Decelle's.
karen masterson March 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
As owner of nourish restaurant just wanted to remind everyone that we have a terrific selection of local beer, an expanded bar area that offers live music Friday and Saturday nights with an open mike on most Tuesday nights. We have local fish on the menu from dayboats in Boston and will be expanding our offering of fish/seafood as our relationship with Red's Best (seafood supplier) develops. Just wanted to let people know that we already offer what some have been asking about on this comment list! I have met the owner of the new high-end consignment store that is moving in next door to us and she's really lovely and I'm sure her shop will be a terrific addition to the Center. Thanks
Joan Reddy March 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I really miss the shops that we used to have where you could get a nice pair of gloves for winter or lingerie or baby gifts. The little glove shop on the corner of Waltham St was a jewel , and Decelle's had everything, even though it got too packed with merchandise at the end. It really bothers me that I have to go to Waltham or Burlington or Bedford to get the simple things we all need in our daily lives. In Lexington Center you can eat and bank till the cows come home, but that's about it. Thank heavens for the longevity and quality of Michelson's Shoes and Theatre Pharmacy and Spectrum Music!
HG Movsesian March 23, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I think a diner would be terrific! When we moved here in 2005 that was the one thing I missed for Sunday mornings.
Ruth March 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM
How about a shop for nice baby items/gifts?
Ruth March 23, 2012 at 12:58 AM
By the way, Ted mentioned a great idea above: a restaurant to take the kids to where parents could eat and kids could do arts/crafts! I've heard there's something like that in Concord and Cambridge.
Jeff Chung March 23, 2012 at 01:19 PM
We really miss Decelles for reasonable baby gifts and children's clothing,a good ,down to earth breakfast place and the book store that used to be where the consignment shop is going.The reason they are gone is because the rents are too high!We'd love to see a pub. I think we have plenty of banks, realtors,and fingernail places. I'd also like an Anna's!!!!!And a hardware store in the center, but the real problem here is the high rent.If the owner has a vacant space,I believe they just take it off their taxes - so, not much incentive to have more reasonable rates. And thank god for great places like Theater Pharmacy!!!!! And the movie theater!
Joe March 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I think the place was called One Meriam. It was very good, I remember eating there many years ago when I worked in Lexington Center.
Joe March 26, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I agree with Ruth, Ted's suggestion is a good one. Does anyone know the name and location of the places that Ruth mentions in Concord or Cambridge?

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