Gemma’s Owners Opening ‘Casual American Style Restaurant’

Gemma’s name change was approved at Monday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting.

The owners of the recently closed Gemma Ristorante are behind Cooper’s Tavern, according to paperwork filed with the Board of Selectmen’s office.

Ilir and Melaiza Velagoshti wrote to the board that they’re planning to operate a “casual American style restaurant” at the former Gemma site, 319 Broadway in Arlington Center, as they feel “it is more appropriate and needed in [the] business district.”


Do you agree with the owners? Is a casual American style restaurant what Arlington Center needs? Let us know by posting a comment below.


Their proposed name change was unanimously approved by the board Monday.

Cooper’s Tavern was the second new historically named tavern to come before the board in less than a month. In late August, the board unanimously approved plans for Menotomy Grill and Tavern, which is slated for the old Hollywood Video site in East Arlington.

See more on Cooper’s Tavern here, and here’s what the owners filed with the board:

Coming Soon

Cooper’s Tavern established in 1768 was the neighborhood watering hole for West Cambridge and Menotomy (now known as Arlington). Frequented by Captain Samuel Whittemore, and some of the nation’s earliest and most heroic Patriots, Cooper’s Tavern was always serving up pints of Ale, Cider, and Toddy. Most came for the atmosphere and friendship, men and women gathered around the fireplaces to toast over a glass of Flip or Rum Punch.

Cooper’s Tavern also doubled as an emergency triage hospital on April 19, 1775, and it is where Captain Whittemore was taken after his heroic “One Man Stand” against the Redcoats. That day Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship were killed by Redcoats as they blindly fired through the windows of the tavern during their retreat back to Boston.

Here at the modern day Cooper’s Tavern we hope to re-establish some longtime-honored traditions, as well as establish some new ones. We hope to honor the brave men and women that came before us, as we pave the way for a better and brighter future. Cheers!

Tim September 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Looks Like ALL the Townies got another place to get wasted and heck its right next door to ASIAN CON FUSION......... By the way aren't you suppose to have food with your drinks?
P.P. Longstocking September 27, 2012 at 01:32 AM
I got food poisoning at Gemma twice. I don't care what they call this place, it's gonna be the same bad management.
Patricia September 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Why would you go back to a restaurant where you got food poisoning? The owners are very rude and they do not deserve to own a restaurant. That and their stale bread are reasons they probably went out of business, also over priced. Crazy Harry's was good for all ages and reasonably priced. A family restaurant would be much better. Not Your Average Joe's is near so why another same type in the area?
jmdrb September 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM
The least of the owner's worries should be the name of the place. Gemma had mediocre food and mediocre staff at best.
P.P. Longstocking September 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I went back because I wasn't sure it was the restaurant. Turns out it was the restaurant.
Patricia September 27, 2012 at 08:15 PM
do not understand what you are talking about there was a bar at gemma
AmeliaBedelia September 27, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I was also sick from Gemma's. It was delivery though. Sad, because it's hard to find delivery that isn't pizza/subs/Chinese.
R September 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Geez you guys are harsh. It's a good place. Friendly and great owners.
P.P. Longstocking September 27, 2012 at 09:11 PM
There's a new place a few doors down from Gemma's called the Mahrone Tree or something. I'm not sure if they still deliver but they did when they first opened. They have good burgers and the people are nice.
Tim September 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Speaking of that methadone clinic What's up with those zombies wandering around the center , who allowed this place to operate right next to a couple of schools?
X October 13, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I worked at Gemma for a long time and I would agree with some things but disagree with others. For one, the owners are not bad people. They immigrated to the United States and worked their tails off so that they can open their own business and were successful in doing so. Gemma built a good name for its self when it was a small pizza/pasta shop mainly due to the kindness of the owners and the good food. When it expanded into a restaurant, that same kindness was there downfall. The owners treated everyone like part of the family and being the ungrateful people that we are, we took advantage of it. We did not give input when we should have, we did not work hard when we needed to, and we did not give the guests the attention they deserve. As a former employee there, I apologize to the people of Arlington for this. However, I wish Coopers Tavern a fresh start and good luck! I am sure the inexperienced owners have learned from their Gemma experience and I am confident that they will make Coopers Tavern into the toast of the town!
Murugaraj Raj July 02, 2013 at 08:57 AM
Wow..The least of the owner's worries should be the name of the place. Gemma had mediocre food and mediocre staff at best. <a href="http://www.spodeklawgroup.com">american consumer law group llc woburn ma</a>


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