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Black Sheep Pub Coming to Downtown Peabody

The city's liquor board awarded the lone available full liquor license to the proprietors of a new family style pub and grill slated for Central Street.

The boarded up storefront at 5 Central St. is now slated to become Mike and Lill's Black Sheep Pub & Grill.
The boarded up storefront at 5 Central St. is now slated to become Mike and Lill's Black Sheep Pub & Grill.
This may sound like familiar news: there's going to be a new family style pub in downtown Peabody over in the empty space formerly occupied by the Fire Bull.

This won't be the Kelley Square Pub though -- those plans have fizzled -- rather this will be Mike and Lill's Black Sheep Pub & Grill operated by husband and wife team Michael Clukey and Lillian Chalifour.

Clukey and Chalifour appeared before the city Licensing Board last week to make their case for the city's lone available all-alcohol restaurant license, and they were successful.

The board awarded the license to the couple over competing applications, one of which was for a high-end restaurant at a proposed boutique hotel in the square.

Board chairman Minas Dakos said the deciding factor for the board was really the time frame between the two proposals.

Clukey and Chalifour hope to open by St. Patrick's Day once the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission also signs off on the application, whereas the hotel restaurant would be at least 9-12 months away from materializing. The hotel component also requires a special permit from the City Council.

Clukey said the plan is to dish up breakfast, lunch and dinner -- American style fare -- with a fully stocked bar six days a week. The Black Sheep would be closed on Mondays, but otherwise the kitchen would be open from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

He said the intent is to "not be a late night bar," but rather more of a family restaurant. He didn't name names, but added the downtown doesn't need another late night bar. He said their aim is to close up before midnight.

Dakos also noted there aren't many places now to grab breakfast downtown, and that another eatery with plenty of seating would be a good addition.

Clukey said they're leasing the ground floor space at 5 Central St. for the restaurant and only plan to make small renovations, mostly to the interior. That will involve expanding the bar area to add more stools, plumbing work and some painting, etc.

The married couple have experience in the restaurant industry, most recently helping run Leslie's Retreat in Salem with Chalifour's mother for the past 17 years. The couple also live just over the line in Salem.

The ABCC may take anywhere from two weeks to a month or more to approve the license and that will determine when renovations begin. Clukey said they will put up signs once work is underway.

This particular full liquor license has been in limbo for years -- first tied up for five or six years with Richard Marchese and his plans for a commercial development on Route 1 and a lengthy legal case that ensued when he appealed the board's revocation of the license for inactivity.

The city finally prevailed in that case and the license returned to the city back in February. John Mastrangelo then successfully applied for it to open a new Kelley Square Pub at 5 Central St. Those plans ultimately fell through, however, as he and the property owner were unable to come to an agreement.

Mastrangelo then returned the license to the city this fall and Clukey and Chalifour, who had already informed the board of their interest, applied for the license when it became available again.
kittygormley December 31, 2013 at 07:15 PM
I went to Leslie's retreat on a regular basis when it was run by Mike and Lil, loved it. I now live almost around the corner from 5 central street, CAN'T WAIT. Kitty
joyceriley1 January 05, 2014 at 01:56 PM
So looking forward to having the two of you back locally. Can almost taste Mike's boneless ribs! Good luck!
Tina Cook February 14, 2014 at 09:14 PM
So happy for you. We missed you two. You can count us in as being regular customers.
James mc donald April 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM
cant wait for u to open.good luck. jim and jan mac
Kathleen May 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM
I think it's great that they are trying to help revitalize downtown Peabody and I wish the new owners the best of luck. I drive by the restaurant every day and looks like they are putting a lot of money into the place. Problem is that I for one can't get passed what the condo's/apts (not sure what they are) look like above them. Looks like Section 8 housing at best. Wripped/torn shades and bedsheets hanging from the windows. Can only imagine the living conditions. Not sure if the owners can do anything about it but they really ought to realize that this is going to turn a lot of people off. It definitely will turn me off from trying the place.

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