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Veteran Restaurateurs Excited to Bring Their Vision to Finnerty's Site

Thomas Oliveri and Dylan Welsh have years of experience in the restaurant industry. Now they're looking forward to a new venture at the Finnerty's site in Wayland.

A look around Five Horses Tavern on a Wednesday afternoon reveals business suit clad patrons enjoying a comfortably sophisticated lunch hour as well as a what appears to be a couple of girlfriends sharing stories and appetizers.

It’s the diverse kind of crowd that makes Five Horses owner Dylan Welsh smile. And it’s the kind of crowd that he hopes to see in the restaurant he and fellow restaurateur Thomas Oliveri will open at the revitalized Finnerty’s Village site in Cochituate.

“It’s going to be a local gathering place,” Oliveri said. “A place where everyone feels comfortable, with good food at a moderate price.”

Welsh and Oliveri are under agreement to bring a Five Horses-style restaurant, with outdoor seating, a modern American menu, and an approachable price point, to the long-vacant corner of West Plain and Main streets.

“One of our main objectives when we bought the site was to bring amenities to the area, to the town,” said Matthew Levy, a Wayland resident who, along with fellow resident Jesse Adelman, purchased the Finnerty’s property in early 2011. “One of those amenities was a good local restaurant where families and friends could go to congregate and meet, with good food and a good atmosphere.”

An inviting atmosphere and unique, but approachable food are exactly the things the Welsh and Oliveri said they intend to bring to their as-yet-unnamed Wayland restaurant. The two restaurateurs bring years of experience to the business, though the Cochituate location will be their first together.

Oliveri owns and operates a brewery and restaurant in the Worcester area as well as a restaurant in Milford, and Welsh worked in the industry for years before opening Five Horses last year. In both cases, the men are quick to emphasize that operating restaurants is a career path they relish, not one they stumbled into.

In fact, while the Wayland restaurant will be their first together, the two actually met 15 years ago when Welsh was working at Bukowski Tavern in Boston. Oliveri’s brewery created a house beer for the Inman Square hotspot and the men were introduced.

When Oliveri learned of the opportunity in Wayland, he sought out Welsh for the partnership.

“He’s 15 years younger, and I saw his work ethic and knowledge of the restaurant business,” Oliveri said. “[Welsh] creates a culture within the restaurant that I think will resonate wherever you go. He reminds me of myself 15 years ago.”

And Welsh was excited about the opportunity.

“There are not a lot of places like [Five Horses] in Boston,” Welsh said. “And there certainly are not a lot like this out there. We’re bringing a little bit of Boston to Wayland, while maintaining that community feel.”

A community feel is clearly something they already know a little bit about. Five Horses Tavern earned Boston Magazine's Best of Boston 2012 title for Best Neighborhood Eats in Davis Square.

The business partners said the Wayland restaurant will resemble Five Horses in ambiance, menu and quality, but the owners are also open to adapting to what works in Wayland.

Welsh said he creates his menus around locally sourced foods and carefully chooses everything he carries in his restaurants from the meal ingredients to the offerings at the bar.

“It’s not all about the price point,” Welsh said. “It’s about quality.”

Levy said he and Adelman were more than pleased with the quality when they “interviewed” Welsh and Oliveri as potential tenants at the site. Levy said he and Adelman visited Welsh’s and Oliveri’s existing restaurants and then asked them to come up with a sample menu for the Wayland spot.

While the menu will likely be slightly different in Wayland, it will take cues from that at Five Horses, which includes everything from lamb bolognese to kentucky fried Cornish game hen with jalapeno cheddar mashed potatoes. And for the vegetarian set, there are options that include okra gumbo, a variety of veggie pizzas and more.

"We wanted to get a feel that their thought process is what we wanted to go with," Levy said, pointing out that multiple potential tenants approached the developers. "We weren’t looking for a chain. We were looking for proven restaurateurs that understood our vision for the site. In speaking with them, they had a similar vision with what our thoughts were.

"I'm very comfortable with these guys in this location."

Welsh and Oliveri said they are excited about bringing their vision to Wayland and hope to appeal to a diverse group of patrons who are looking for a great place for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch and for a great spot for a date, dinner with friends, or a meal with the family.

"We’re committed to serving the community and creating a place for people to come," Oliveri said.

An opening date for the new restaurant has not yet been determined, and its coming to the site remains conditional on the developers securing the necessary permits.

Jeff Baron October 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
This sounds great! Do you like the idea of adding the establishment to the Finnerty's development? If so, then be prepared to get excited about CVS too because without them, this does not exist! Thanks, guys, for working to make this project as great as it can be given all the business and zoning rules that apply!
Wayland Resident October 29, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Still shilling for these guys?? Once again, the safety concerns and traffic issues preclude the CVS. There cannot be a curbcut across from the fire station and the drivethrough is an environmental and traffic issue. I am all for the restaurant and it is permitted under applicable zoning. If the project is untenable without CVS, that is something the developer should have considered before buying the site. Once again your argument is the false dilemma. The developer cannot do the project without CVS, therefore CVS must be allowed. No, then the project may simply not happen. Poor planning and failure to secure permits prior to seeking tenants is not the town's fault nor should the residents suffer for this disorganized approach. Developers acquire options, secure permits and then secure tenants. This has been backward from the word go. What experience do these guys have anyway? The plan seems poorly conceived and detrimental to the town and the safety of its residents.
Jeff Baron October 29, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Shilling? No. Keeping it real, yes! So much you simply don't understand here...
Wayland Resident October 30, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Please let me know what I do not understand. I do understand that adopting a condescending tone is not an argument. Moreover, your argument is a classic false dilemma. You argue that the Town MUST grant zoning relief because the project is untenable without CVS. Simply not true. The Town is not required to grant any relief. The developer may build that which is permitted as of right and may seek relief. That relief may be denied. You have not answered my question regarding the experience of the developer. It is not a coincidence that local professional developers, such as Parsons, passed on this site and it was vacant for years. Those developers understood that the site does not support a large retailer. The purchase price reflects this limitation. These guys are trying to procure a windfall at the expense of the safety of the town residents. A curbcut across from the fire station is ill advised and a potential disaster. Additionally, the proposed drivethrough is a traffic and environmental hazard. Last time I took a position contrary to your position you accused me of being a NIMBY. When I pointed out that I do not live anywhere near the site you ran out of arguments. Previously you touted the developers as "great guys". As such, I assume you are familiar with their track record. Please share that experience with us.. Although there is "so much I simply don't understand", I understand the usual sequence of development and this is not it.
Cari Cornish October 30, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Very exciting! I've never been to Five Horses but Bukowski Tavern is one of my favorite places in Boston! If they have a fraction of Bukowski's beer selection, then they will have the best in Wayland!
Jennifer Pearlman October 31, 2012 at 02:37 AM
When my husband I drive by this location together, we always say what a great location it would be for a nice, casual, local eatery. Five Horses sounds like what we've been hoping for!
Dr. Wash December 06, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Cari and Jennifer. I guess you like to eat out and drink a lot of beer. Right. Instead of bringing the city here, why don't YOU move into Boston! It's amazing to me how adults get excited about a restaurant. I find that behaviour childish and immature.
Jeff Baron December 06, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Childish and immature? More representative of your comment than theirs. Easy for you to say, though, under the cowardly cloak of anonymity...
Wayland Resident December 07, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Again the tired slogan "if you won't identify yourself then I will take the high ground"...For the millionth time, the forum allows anonymous posting, get over it. See my prior posts, anonymity in political debate is American and stems from Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. You are so lacking in informed thought and discourse. I am glad we all know your identity, we know who is the proponent of these backward thoughts. I have been patient, but your failure to yield to rational thought is frustrating. I know that you will not yield to rational thought because your dogma is too dramatic to allow for reasonable discourse. That is fine, your dogma is self explanatory.
Jeff Baron December 07, 2012 at 02:27 AM
The cowardly comments from this anonymous poster speak for themselves. Using this cloak to post misinformation and rude insults says everything only serves to back up my point. One's continued unwillingness to put their name behind these types of comments speaks volumes. Poor you...
Jeff Baron December 07, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Schoolyard taunts/namecalling are a new low for these posters. I can only feel sorry for those that think so little of themselves that they have to attack others, especially those that do it while in costume. That being said, I am more than proud of the work I do securing the financial future of families across the nation. Talk to a surviving spouse who had their husband/wife die and listen to the emotional pain they're in. The fact that I help them erase the potential financial pain they'd feel as well is critical to their long-term survival and that of their children. Only those that have never suffered such a loss would ridicule that work. Only cowards would ridicule it anonymously.
Brooklyn Lowery (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Spirited debate is both healthy and appropriate on this site. Name-calling and completely leaving the subject at hand to take jabs at another commenter, however, is inappropriate and, in fact, violates our terms of use (wayland.patch.com/terms). I have removed a couple of comments that stepped outside of the subject matter only to take aim at another person commenting on the site. Keep it civil and focused on the matter at hand, folks. That is not too much to ask.
Wayland Resident December 07, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Ms. Lowery, thanks for your comments. Can you please explain to Mr. baron that anonymity is allowed in this forum. Moreover, can you remove posts attacking the character and person of posters choosing to post anonymously. I think it is inconsistent to allow Mr. Baron to personally attack anonymous posters, but not allow retaliation in kind.
Brooklyn Lowery (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Anonymity is permitted within our terms of use, which is why the many anonymous comments on these articles have been left in the comment thread. As yet, I do not see any reason to remove comments requesting that people use their actual names. This is primarily because I don't consider it "attacking personal character" when someone's personal character is anonymous. With that said, I would like to encourage that we move the conversation forward rather than focusing on who chooses to use a name and who does not. I appreciate the breadth of the comments that have been added to these articles. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to make your voices heard.
Jeff Baron December 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Interesting point, Brooklyn. There has not been one occasion that I have said or thought it was not permissible to remain anonymous. There have been many occasions, however, that I have questioned the motivation of remaining anoymous and strength of conviction in ones comments when doing so. This topic, in particular, has brought out many anonymous posters who feed misinformation, scare tactics, and the like into the conversation. My questioning of the anonymity is directly related ot the theory that folks would not be willing to post such information if their idenitty were attached to their comments. BTW, my comments above (at 7:16am) now seem out of context since the offending posts were removed. I have no issue with removing those comments as well as a result. Finally, I couldn't agree more. How does one personally attack anonymous posters? I have not and would not personally attack anyone willing to stand up for their beliefs. I may not agree, but I respect anyone willing to offer a personally identifiable opinion/thought.
Wayland Resident December 07, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Way to stick to the issues.
Jeff Baron December 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Thank you.
Wayland Resident December 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Please see above "I would like to encourage that we move the conversation forward rather than focusing on who chooses to use a name and who does not." Any chance you will change the channel or will we all be subjected to further sanctimony regarding the virtue of posting with a name.
CPR June 25, 2013 at 12:50 AM
What happened to this thread? I just fizzled... I was hoping to see some sort of reconciliation and acknowledgement that both perspectives have legitimacy simply because they are owned by someone (I'm assuming that Mr. Anonymous really is someone). In any event, it looks like this is now approved and will hopefully move forward. Having Wayland move into the 21st century is something long in coming. Who knows, maybe some day we'll even have sidewalks.

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