It was going to be Belmont's own burger joint; an eatery in the new commercial block at the corner of Concord Avenue and Bright Road that would join the hip new restaurant trend of handcrafted hamburgers in a cool setting with iPads at every table.
The 60-seat B Town Kitchen at 70 Concord Ave. – it was renamed the ReMix Grill later in December and scaled back to 42 seats – would have opened next to the new East Boston Savings Bank branch and Indigo Fire Pottery Studio at the strip mall built on the site of the Murray Sandler Skate Shop.
While many people reacted enthusiastically to the news on Belmont Patch's Facebook page, apparently a significant number of neighbors became aware that the production of hamburgers would result in the smell of cooking meat from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. when the fast-food restaurant would be operating.
From comments and reaction from abutters and residents, it became apparent to those proposing the restaurant – Todd Giatrelis of Taylor Road and his partner, venture capitalist and Floridian Richard Ferrelli – that they would have a potentially protracted fight on their hands.
At the beginning of the New Year, the ReMix Grill extinguished its flame and cancelled its plans and ended the dream of many Belmont meat lovers who envisioned lazy afternoons in the company of a Texan burger and onion rings.
In the place of grass-fed ground beef, craft beers and fries, a new venture is preparing to submit its paperwork to the town's Planning Division.
Coming to Belmont is ... a coffee shop. The family-run operation will serve caffeine drinks, teas and sandwiches. What it will not have is a grill or any cooking on the site.
While every business is unique, Belmont has seen coffee shops increasingly populate the "Town of Homes." Besides the pair of Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts chains, upscale coffee is a highlight at places such as Vicki Lee's in Cushing Square, Cafe Burrito in Central Square and the newly-opened MIM's and Quebrada Bakery in the Center.
"Coffee shops are what bank branches were a few years back: are we reaching a saturation point on latte places?" commented one Belmont wag.