The smile on Ellen Carter's face is made up of one part anticipation, one part anxiety and a one part seeing her dream of running her own eatery coming true as the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved her business license on Monday, July 2, to open the Sweet Peach Diner, the town's first Southern-style restaurant.
And after the town OK'd a variance for a outdoor service and pickup window, Carter said the diner located at the former Althos Diner at 628 Trapelo Rd. will be open for business on Wednesday, July 11 at 6 a.m.
"We're crossing our fingers," said Carter, as she and three other eateries are moving forward with their plans to open shop in Belmont, adding to its growing rep for being a location for foodies to head.
In addition to Sweet Peach, Selectmen also approved a "Common Victualler's" license to Cafe Burrito, the new hybrid morning cafe, afternoon and evening burrito bar at 374 Trapelo Rd. adjacent to the Studio Cinema.
James Bramante, the owner of the Studio and West Newton cinemas as well as Belmont's first Southwestern cuisine restaurant, said he is hearing from the public "and they are giving me an education on what they are expecting from us."
The menu will be fresh both in the morning with baked goods and specialty coffees and in afternoon when a Southwestern-inspired dishes made with fresh ingredients will be the mainstay.
Expect a soft opening in the first week of August and an official opening in the second week of next month.
Joining Sweet Peach in opening next week – or even sooner according to some workers finishing the set up at the site – will be Belmont's first fast food chain outlet, a Subway restaurant, at 59 Leonard St.
Just down the street in Belmont Center, the transformation of the former Frankie's Catch of the Day continues with upscale bakery Quebrada Baking Company beginning the permitting process with the town.
Over a Sweet Peach, the diner will be open for breakfast and lunch, Tuesday through Sunday, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. The reason there will be no dinner service when the diner opens "because we don't want to start three different shifts until we have everything working correctly with two," she said.
"But I expect we can quickly move in that direction with any increase in public demand," she said.
Sweet Peach will have classic diner items such as burgers, hot dogs and seafood that can be picked up at the outdoor window, along with Southern-style fare and barbecue as well as a Southern-diner style breakfast menu.
"What can I say but I'm excited," she said with a smile.