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News Updates: December 2007

All updates from the month of December 2007 are listed below.

Alpha Omega closes and re-opens to concerned customers
Written by Justin on December 24, 2007 at 2:26PM

  • Nobody was entirely sure what the situation was when the financially troubled Alpha Omega jewelry chain was unexpectedly shuttered on December 20th.
  • Company founder Raman Handa and his family left unexpectedly for India, with the abrupt closure of the company's flagship store in Harvard Square, and other locations at The Shops at Prudential Center, the Burlington Mall, and the Natick Collection. Workers were told on December 21st that they were fired.
  • However, later that night, company lawyers and representatives with Bank of America's recently acquired LaSalle Business Credit assembled plans to reopen the company's stores, leaving Handa in charge for the time being. On December 22, the Prudential and Harvard Square stores reopened, with the Burlington and Natick stores following suit on December 23.
  • The Boston Globe has more information at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/12/24/jeweler_back_to_business_as_usual/.
Local malls prepare for busy weekend
Written by Justin on December 21, 2007 at 5:11PM
  • Huge crowds are expected in this weekend before Christmas. However, while last weekend's Sunday Patriots match-up made Saturday unbearable at the mall, the situation is expected to be at least moderately better this weekend, as the Patriots will play later on Sunday afternoon, and many people will take Friday off to go shopping.
  • More details are available at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/x282557243.
Papa Razzi Trattoria & Bar coming to Framingham
Written by Justin on December 6, 2007 at 10:56PM
  • Work is set to begin shortly on constructing a replacement for the Bennigan's Grill & Tavern that had been closed since January.
  • Boston-based Back Bay Restaurant Group has signed a lease for the space from property owner Maric Inc., with the intent of turning it into a Papa Razzi Trattoria & Bar. Work is set to begin within a few days to gut the interior of the restaurant, which according to the company was old and in poor condition. The company will spend $2.3 million to entirely re-do the interior and construct a new facade on the building. The restaurant is expected to open in late Spring 2008.
  • For more information, the MWDN has a story at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/business/x2128348505. The "This Is Framingham" blog also has an entry on the story, check that out at http://thisisframingham.com/?p=297.
Random MetroWest retail tidbits
Written by Justin on December 2, 2007 at 4:38PM
  • JoS. A. Bank has opened at Venture West Plaza in Framingham on Route 9. The location is the company's second in the area, the other is located further down Route 9 at One Apple Hill in Natick.
  • We finally know when P.F. Chang's is opening! Sometime in February 2008 is the word. Hugo Boss will also be joining the exclusive 'F' wing sometime in the near future. The full list of openings can be found on the What's Opening When page.
  • To bond with customers, American Express opened an American Express Members Lounge in the Natick Collection expansion in November. The outpost, which will remain open through the holiday season, provides restrooms, coat checking, snacks, gift wrapping, and sofas to cardholders. The Natick lounge is one of only two: the other is at The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, N.J.

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