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Wynnewood's Buca Di Beppo Now Closed

The Italian restaurant, located at 260 East Lancaster Ave. in Wynnewood, closed on Sunday, according to management.

Buca di Beppo, located in the Wynnewood Square Shopping Center, has closed.

The family-style Italian restaurant opened in September 2010 and shut its doors for the last time on Sunday, according to management. 

By Tuesday, the festive Buca di Beppo logo had been removed from the store's facade and a U-Haul truck was parked out front as people inside worked to pack up dishes and decorations.

An employee at the store referred Patch to Buca di Beppo's corporate marketing director for further information. Calls to the restaurant's public relations company and Baker Properties, the owner of Wynnewood Square, were not returned by press time.

Signs on the door simply read:

The Wynnewood Buca di Beppo has closed.

We appreciate your years of patronage and apologize for the inconvenience. Your favorite Buca di Beppo dishes are still cooking at our Exton location.

Buca di Beppo has five remaining Pennsylvania locations, with the Exton location being the only Buca di Beppo within an hour's drive. A Center City location closed in August

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

bill kehoe January 09, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Vinnie Testa was crap to. I agree with Regina, put a target in this location, and it will take off.. Just don't let the township get involved.. They will screw it up.
Josh January 09, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Why Target? How about a BJ's if people want such a big company occupying this once neighborhood theater... Might as well completely destroy what is left of our roots... With ACME going bankrupt and Superfresh attracting a bused in clientele who are given free food just to leave, let's just get down to it and call this old rat infested center a dog. How about an adult video store? I went there ... Because that is what this corridor is becoming due to a lack of innovation, stupidly high rents, narrow minded bankers, crime and all of those nail salon fronts. Really people, do that many people get facials all day and night? Wake up. Perfect place for medicinal pot, too. Now we are talking! That would fix any budget issues in about one minute. Ever try to get a baby stroller through rite aids door? Talk about a law suit in the making. It is a scam that such real estate cannot be developed appropriately.
Brian A. January 09, 2013 at 05:30 PM
There are still some lovely neighborhood theaters in Bala, Narberth, Bryn Mawr, and Wayne. As nice as they are, I can't really see any more than that surviving in the area, especially with such small profit margins for theaters these days. What do you think would be good to go in that shopping complex?
Douglas Martindale January 09, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Plain and simple, Buca just sucked. I don't think they do well any where and I was disappointed when the opened in the first place. I do agree that L.Merion isn't exactly business friendly, but it's such a weak dining establishment. I still can't get with all the wealth in Wynnewood, everything commercial looks so blown out and shabby.
Josh January 09, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Honestly- we need to think greener, cleaner, younger... Consumer demand is the opposite of what is bring offered up and down 30. A drive thru Swiss farms that carries organic along with tasty kakes is perfect for the closed gas station on w road. 2- where B d P was, I do not think a large chain can survive (food). A Trader Joe's would do well, a farmers market style space would do very well, if rent allows, a children birthday party factory would do well, an 'artists den' with a stage, bar, sponsored by the correct people - would survive-but it would thrive if it was like a 23 East of old. I have many other ideas, along the lines of serving the changing demographic. An open office space concept might work, such as an idea incubator,if sponsored by the right people. These tend to fail however in the long run. A modern pharmacy would do well. A doctors specialist facility would do very well. Just ideas.. You?
Bob Guzzardi January 09, 2013 at 07:40 PM
The $10 million dollar library expansion was built at prevailing wage rates which is a state mandated policy driven by the Unions and which drives up cost to taxpayers who pay for all municipal projects. The Dranoff deal is heavily subsidized by taxpayer grants.
Bob Guzzardi January 09, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Buca is not the only establishment that has left Lower Merion. and it is significant that two failed businesses have occupied this high traffic location. Go west and you will see a different picture. FYI the Norristown Buca closed also. This is a highly successful chain and this might not have bee a good location. I was there on New Year's and service was terrific and food very good and reasonably priced. The Borders Bookstore location has been replaced by a discount. With all the good idea, it is odd that people who actually run businesses, and have to invest 100s of 1000s of investor dollars, don't want to locate in Lower Merion
Bob Guzzardi January 09, 2013 at 07:44 PM
These are good ideas. Why do you think business don't share your vision? Trader Joe's does very well in Surburban Square.
bill kehoe January 09, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Lower Merion Township did pay the prevailing wage for the library, but got low performing workers, a bad architect, and second grade engineering firm. The board of commissioners approved the construction for a first class job, why did they, accept a fly by night operation? The taxpayers in Lower Merion paid for union labor, why didn't the board use union labor? The high school was a first class job, done by union labor, paid with taxpayer monies. What happened with the library? It went way over budget, and most of the orginal plan had to be redone, which led the taxpayers, paying twice the amount for one job. Who knew who? Carl Dranoff is ready to go, with a first class plan, and first class labor pool, whats the problem? He's getting paid one way or another. Whats the problem with this board?
Josh January 09, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Bob, Trader Joe's will not build unless they know, based upon a bullet proof proprietary formula (like a Goldman Sachs investment fund) that the market will succeed. They have the fortune of being able to calculate these numbers based on decades of unfiltered consumer data based in their own company - no distortion. It is brilliant. I also wonder why our town looks like a run down shell town. We shop at stores with live mice on glue traps below product, roaches pouring from walls of food establishments, rat boxes surrounding our markets... Wealth doesn't equate to street smarts, that is for sure. The vision comes down to will, finances, and landlords who must fight tooth and nail for anything 'different' which I believe the younger generations will begin to change in LM. But to make the money to live here it is hard to find such qualified people that could share in a vision. Why is Suburban Square not linked into Ardmore with underground parking and modern amenities? Baffling, right? The 'Grove' model in Los Angeles is perfect for us, I can't figure out why it is not allowed. It is infuriating, truthfully. Why do we drive past Haverford and Bryn Mawr breathing easier than a drive thru Ardmore? The town is in shambles. The flight has already began for those who can afford it. Then it snowballs, it is true...
bill kehoe January 09, 2013 at 11:23 PM
Josh your right. The codes in this township are not inforced. People that do the actual work, get away without having the proper license or permits. Ive gotten several infested , businesses closed in the past, because they didn't want to follow the code in Lower Merion Township. That was then. Today, Lower Merion has what's called a "permit bundle". The L&I units fill in the contractors plumbing,carpentry, and building permits themselves. The only one that is seperate is the electrial. That's the scam. No license tradmen pulls a permit prior to the actual work. The township has the option to fill everthing in, accept the electical before the work is finished.. This way, the codes department can control everything, especially the final inspection, which they need for the certificate of occupcy. I saw two nice sized rats runing outside mapes on rittenhouse, called the health dept. and no response. I went to several jobs that alredy were underway in lower merion and not one had a permit. I checked with the codes inforcement dept, and they tried to tap dance around it. It all under the hat now, and because of this corruption, this town is turning into a heap of dung!
Bob Guzzardi January 10, 2013 at 12:12 AM
As I read your comment about Trader Joe's, it seems that Lower Merion would not support a Trader Joe's in Wynnewood.. Am I reading you correctly?
Josh January 10, 2013 at 02:57 AM
I have no idea what a Trader Joe's model would say about it. I'm positive their is a need to replace Food Source, that was closed due to a decision by it's corporation, it was rather profitable. I'm not aware about the permits and details of LM code but I think above it is thought that their is a lot of tape. Reading about the articles for the old Post Office, who knows. Maybe it is a wiser long term decision to force developers of our well heeled real estate to help us rebuild it if they will profit from it. Not business friendly, maybe, accidental result, maybe. Maybe negotiating over a brew at a Tired Hands type brew pub instead of kitschy decor that reminds people of work functions would help?
Bob Guzzardi January 10, 2013 at 01:36 PM
It seems businesses are leaving Lower Merion and others don't want to locate here. What is the reason for that? Obviously, businesses think it unprofitable. Why? Is it the demographics? or Lower Merion Township anti-business attituede unless you are politically connected and government subsidized like Carl Dranoff. Privately financed business don't seem to want to locate here and the question is why not.
Bob Guzzardi January 10, 2013 at 01:39 PM
This is a Patch article on business closings in Ardmore. This has prompted some of my comments. It seems other locales are more inviting to businesses. Why? http://ardmore.patch.com/articles/business-closings-of-2012-in-ardmore-merion-wynnewood
Josh January 10, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Bob, knowing first hand about this it's not just LM that has strange or restricting rules. The business owners always have to make the case and the politically connected are the same anywhere. To attract redevelopment to our area a clear message as to what types of business are wanted, LM offers incentives to such business, cut tape, speed approvals. You might laugh knowing more about history from your posts. But that's what will help now, a true empowerment zone. Nobody wants more bank branches, did you know that according to fed law our area is considered under banked (not enough branches)! That is why Sun Credit opened Haverford, they needed a credit union within a certain radius per law. It would help if property owners were provided incentives, but, with rates so low it makes more sense to own a property via an SBA loan 504b program, or others. This allows business to own property - not lease - finance w 30 year mortgage, no risk to lender. That is one reason we see so many for sale signs vs for lease signs. Parking is another huge problem. Traffic and safety another. With so many diverse institutions here, One would think money is flowing for a store to open - it needs to be the right business. I'm for hire. 15 years corp finance, biz development experience, exec level and got crushed in 09 as the corp let go of our building minus 30 people and exited the business niche. Now I work with small business and 401k plans. But it's not the same. Just like LM.
michael January 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM
why do republicans always blame democrats? republicans are greedy and want all the money for themselves, while democrats tend to pay employees better and want them to thrive not just survive. as for this place - the management sucked and they couldnt keep staff. and all politicans look out for themselves, rarely for the people they were elected to serve - and it is serve - but they forget that very quickly
Bob Guzzardi January 11, 2013 at 07:08 PM
The new LAFitness is encouraging, although I will miss the very low prices of the discount book store. It still seems that Ardmore Wynnewood will continue to lose businesses. Other municipalties seem to be growing. Are they doing what you recommend?
Bob Guzzardi January 11, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Because Scranton, City of Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia are going broke and forcing productive taxpayers to fund unions and dependency welfare programs without limit.
Forward Thinking Resident January 11, 2013 at 08:26 PM
@Josh, I agree a lot with what you say. I'd love to know what kind of information you have on the changing demographics in ardmore, because I couldn't agree more. This is our town and it only benefits us to see it prosper. It's a great walking community and too many people focus on the parking. Everyone talks about supporting the local business, but something needs to be done to attract the local business here and bring the people out. You look at Wayne and there are about 6 local restaurants that are packed every weekend. We lack in this area, especially on Route 30.
Josh January 11, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Bob, LA fitness is encouraging. Yes, other municipalities and scores of community organizations do exactly what I'm saying to attract business. Also housing, demographics, so forth. LM is certainly aware of all of it, perhaps the execution has become overly politicized or influenced? Forward Thinking- depending in the detail of info, the government (us census) as well as digging into certain public stock filings is a start. The township also has maps of all sorts, available to the public. I can't agree more. Wayne had issues too- the gas line only ran on one side of parts of 30, it was a battle in and if itself to remedy. I think there is a tough balance keeping the integrity of LM, and urbanization, which is holding up any direction. Lots more I could say and I'm certain folks are working on it, but how effective can they be in this environment? They need fresh blood to contribute and not just volunteers looking for an activity on the side or publicity. Not knocking those who dedicate time at all, truly. The trend is flight.
Josh January 11, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Michael, I agree about the bottom line of the place closing... It sucked, overall. Not a good location for them. As to politics, people get so charged up man. 'So the kids they dance and shake their bones, while the politicians throw in stones, singing....'
Regina Brown January 13, 2013 at 09:34 PM
I think the space that for many years was the Eric Wynnewood movie theater is a tough one to manage. It's very big for a restaurant, meaning you've got to turn a lot of tables to stay afloat but too small for today's movie mega-plexes (which is why it closed - it was only ever one screen). That plus the fact that chain restaurants (other than places like Corner Bakery) generally do not do well in this area which is abundant with locally crafted foods of far superior quality. So, why not combine the two? Make it a movie theater that serves food too - like the Movie Tavern up in Collegeville or some theaters I know down south. Or, open a kids play place with lots of inflatable moon bounces to replace the always-too-small Kangaroo U. I don't think this is about politics, I think it's a tough space to manage because of it's 'too big/too small' sizing.
Beth Anne January 14, 2013 at 04:23 AM
People on the Main Line want to feel like they are on the Main Line. It's either in a great little Carlinos or a posh DuJour. They want what no one else is privvy too (in their own mind). The overall atmosphere up and down the pike is lame. It's not fun. It's no Apple or Whole Foods. People want what they dont have and dont want what right in front of them - unless it's what everyone around them wants making it a gawking center. Look around the entire Main Line - business after business is closed. Partly due to bad business - much to do with lack of considerate parking and convenience. Who really wants to Park In Rear??!! Really?! It's not that people won't walk. The problem for retail is that there are many empty lots that might make great visible parking and green space. The problem is narrow sidewalks and speeding vehicles - it's not a walking community. People are cash poor. Business is down. Landlords want the highest prices imaginable and will just as soon sit vacant than help a brother get by. My suggestion: this may have been propposed already: In the future, work towards walkable paths with shelters, shuttles, a cross between the Mall, Germantown Ave and Suburban Square. Lots of greenery, pavillions, outdoor eating (not on the street). Great stores with great incentives, creative marketing, community outreach. But keep it simple and clean with good signage. It can be done, but the councils have to let go of the reigns and welcome fresh ideas.
Josh January 14, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Beth Anne, parking and sidewalks are certainly a big part of it all. Looks like a more family friendly pizzeria and upscale casual bar will replace this spot. No worries about parking and a host of other issues for them vs a storefront on 30. I'm looking forward to the new. More 'city' coming to burbs equals 40 bucks less for a babysitter, taxi, parking! If they keep up with the family friendly demographic needs here (and mix it up with the anti family next to my table people well) they will be in the money, stay a while. You should look up how 'The Farmers Market and The Grove' in the fairfax district in Los Angeles came together and resolved the same issues we face. Minus the quakes.
Arbogast January 14, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Oddly, Buca di Beppo owned Vinnie T's of Boston but decided to convert the Wynewood and 10 other Vinnie T's locations and over to Buca franchises. Bad decision, at least in Wynnewood.
Sam D February 13, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Target needs 100,000 - 180,000 SF of space. The Buca space is 7,200 SF. Even if you could magically make all the other retailers at the center disappear, which won't happen, the entire SF of the center is +/- 80,000 SF. Center is too small. Also, not enough parking.
Sam D February 13, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Trader Joe's (and a farmer's market) wouldn't work for a number of reasons. Superfresh would restrict any other type of food grocer at the center. Also, the Trader Joe's at Suburban Square is too close. Trader Joe's is more of a destination style retailer in that they pull from a wide radius and wouldn't stack stores close to each other. Additionally, say hypothetically if Superfresh closed, the Buca space is too small - it's only 7,200 SF - TJ's runs 11-14,000 SF. Even if Five Below (next to Buca) decided to leave I doubt TJ's would relocate either. The owner of Suburban Square has significantly deeper pockets than the owner of Wynnewood Square and they would just give TJ's a sweetheart deal to stay. Also, if Superfresh was gone and an independent farmer's considered the space - they'd probably not move forward with it b/c if they tried to focus on the high end market, they would be competing with the already long established farmer's market at Sub Square. If they focused on the more moderate market, they would need to make it up on volume, and probably not enough parking and couldn't afford the rent. In offering suggestions on what would go there and do well, that's the challenge. Unfortunately in today's market, not many retailers are expanding, especially not many that need 7,000 SF of space.
Sam D February 13, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Parking on the main line is a big issue. Even in the shopping centers, parking is tough.
Sam D February 13, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Josh - Any word on the name of the restaurant replacing Buca?

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