A recent business boom has rippled across Methuen as several new restaurants and upcoming developments spawn a new age for the dining and entertainment scene.

Weng’s Garden, which will operate out of the former Knights of Columbus Gaythorne Hall at 462 Broadway, is in the process of extensive updates to the building, such as plumbing and electricity as well as kitchen renovations. The plan, according to owner May Chen-Weng, is to create a unique, vibrant nightlife experience.

“We really want to do something different and utilize the space,” said Chen-Weng. “It’ll be food added with a live component, like music, a dancing space or hopefully a comedian. We’re busy but very excited.”

Max occupancy is at 150 people. Chen-Weng also owns and operates Salem, N.H.’s Yang Ming restaurant.

Ye’s Table, the new Asian fusion restaurant located at 125 Merrimack St., has just gone through its final round of inspections (as of late April). The plan is to open in May, according to owner Nicole Huang. The estimated number of seats is 148.

Two other destinations are currently under development at The Loop. KPOT, the Korean BBQ and Hot Pot, is sandwiched in between Planet Fitness and X-Golf. With the location not formerly a restaurant, zoning and redesign are among their priorities, according to Director of Economic and Community Development Director John Wilson. The franchise hopes to open in the near future.

Another chain, Teriyaki Madness aims to focus primarily on takeout with six to 10 seats available to patrons. It will be located in between the European Wax Center and Bath & Body Works.

“People love coming to Methuen for the food and the nightlife,” said Wilson. “We have a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, something these other cities might lack sometimes.”

Aroma Joe’s, the all-day food and coffee stop, which will be located at 75 Haverhill St., has just reached the final stages of planning before moving forward, according to Wilson.



Now open

Jocelyn’s by Sevmar, located at 319 Merrimack St., Suite 1, a Mediterranean bistro with a full bar, dining area and takeout, opened their doors April 3. Owner Jocelyn Maroun is a Methuen native who also runs Sevmar in Salem, N.H., where her family previously ran Salem Kabob.

“Since Day One, Methuen residents have been very welcoming. They’re proud of all the new business and very loyal. It’s been a great start,” said Maroun.

Another new addition to Methuen’s restaurant scene is River Edge, located at the former Jon Ryan’s Pub (formerly Tavern on the Merrimack, formerly Jackson’s Restaurant) along the Merrimack River on Lowell Street. The now-open site offers Chinese and Japanese food, as well as a lounge.

Beyond the food scene, PetWell Clinic, another new arrival at The Loop, located at Suite 114, specializes in walk-in veterinary care. The team has had a very receptive opening, according to owner Jeff Bezer.

“We’re going on three months here at The Loop, and it’s really been a great start so far,” explained Bezer. “What I think really brings in clients is the basic and preventative care we offer for dogs and cats. We cover everything from stomach and ear problems, to chronic diseases like diabetes.

“We don’t offer surgeries, but we charge more affordable prices than some of the other places, which clients really like,” Bezer continued.

“They wait less and pay less with us, and that’s something that I think keeps people coming.”

PetWell Clinic is a franchise that has 30 locations throughout the country.



Washville car wash packed at opening


The only one of three recent car-wash proposals in Methuen to survive zoning and neighbor scrutiny opened last month with a sudsy flourish on Broadway, in front of the former Knights of Columbus Gaythorne Hall.

“It’s been a real good response,” said Washville car wash co-owner Jim Waterman. “We’ve been giving away free car washes (the opening week). This place is literally packed 50 deep.”

Folks who showed up at the tunnel-style wash on opening day, April 22, through April 28 were treated to a free car wash. Vacuums are free and available memberships will get you unlimited car washes for a set price.

The wash is staffed during all open hours of operation: Monday through Saturday, 7am to 7pm and Sunday, 8am to 5pm.

Two entrances get you to the wash on time – the main entrance to Gaythorne (slated to be an Asian restaurant soon) and a second entrance next to the BP gas station.

“If you come during later hours or early morning, we have a psychedelic light show (inside the tunnel); people love it!” said Jim.

Recent proposals for a full-size ScrubaDub car was on the site of the Fireside Restaurant and a much smaller one-bay car wash near Cataudella Funeral Home were voted down by the Methuen Zoning Board.