Thursday, August 09, 2018

Application Submitted to Replace Bocelli's in South Medford with Apartment Complex

by Marc Hurwitz

It looks like the future of a longtime favorite for Italian food could be in question, as a developer is apparently considering replacing it with a residential development.

According to an article in the Medford Transcript, developer Rick Welch of Mesiti Group has submitted an application to the Historical Commission that would demolish a strip of businesses in South Medford that includes Bocelli's Ristorante and would replace it with a 12-unit apartment complex with retail space on the ground floor. The post says that the Historical Commission voted last month that the Main Street structure--which is nearly 100 years old--is historically significant and that a public hearing on the issue is expected to take place on August 20, with a vote favoring that the building should be preferably preserved potentially keeping it from being torn down for at least 18 months. Mesiti Group has not yet submitted a formal presentation on the proposal, and Bocelli's owner Nick Catricala indicates that there is no longer a deal between him and Rick Welch, saying that "The restaurant Bocelli's is going to stay here."

Bocelli's is an old-school Italian restaurant known in part for its cozy basement dining room, with the spot residing in the space where the iconic DePasquale's restaurant had once been; our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured it as an under-the-radar spot, with the review being found at this link:

The address for Bocelli's is 374 Main Street, Medford, MA, 02155. Its website can be found at

[August 22 update: A new article in the Medford Transcript states that the Historical Commission has voted to "preferably preserve" the building in which Bocelli's resides, which means that its demolition has been delayed for up to 18 months or until the developer and the commission reach an agreement to preserve or incorporate historic elements of the structure into any new development built there. The post also says that both the developer and the owner of the building--who also owns Bocelli's--would like to have an Italian restaurant in the ground floor of the building, but it would likely be smaller than Bocelli's, and it is not known for sure if it would be another incarnation of the dining spot or an entirely new restaurant.]

[September 24 update: The Medford Transcript is now saying that Bocelli's appears to be safe for now, as the deal to sell the restaurant--and its building--has fallen through. (In the article, owner Nick Catricala states that "I just wasn’t ready yet....The deal wasn’t really what I really wanted.")]

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[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Pasta Dishes from Boston-Area Spots]