John Mastrangelo just needs the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission to sign off on his liquor license as well and he'll be in business in short order with his new family-style Peabody pub.
Mastrangelo plans to duplicate his successful East Boston establishment, Kelley Square Pub, in downtown Peabody at 5 Central St., which has been vacant for a year-and-a-half since Fire Bull closed its doors.
He and attorney Joseph Cattoggio briefed Licensing Board members on the details Monday night before they unanimously agreed to grant the full liquor license. Mastrangelo doesn't anticipate much need for renovations other than new furniture.
The restaurant seats about 100 patrons and will be set up with chairs or booths, tables and a bar. Mastrangelo expects to hire up to 30 new employees and will be the manager of record.
Catoggio said Mastrangelo also has a record of investing in the community and getting along with his neighbors, and Peabody officials and residents can expect more of the same here.
The pub will be a similar operation to the Bennington Street original -- Italian, barbecue and pizza are staples on the menu -- which Mastrangelo first opened with his father, John Sr. (a former Boston-area boxer) in 1989. Father and son will run the Peabody business as well.
Mastrangelo said that between the ABCC approval and getting financing in order -- he's just purchasing the commercial condo, not the apartments above -- it would be at least a couple months before he's ready to open the doors.
The plan is for Kelley's to be open seven days a week, 11 a.m. - midnight, and no live music, just a stereo system and TVs.
As for why Peabody, Mastrangelo said, one of the main reasons is because he lives here -- he moved to West Peabody 12 years ago. His uncle Ralph, also a resident, owned Mastrangelo's Flooring on Bourbon Street where Karl's Sausage Kitchen is now and brother Steve owns the Courthouse Pub just up at 43 Central St.
Mastrangelo said he expects to not only draw a Peabody crowd to the new pub, but patrons from neighboring communities as well.
Board members were upbeat about the entire proposal, asking about a few minor issues and how often Mastrangelo would be on the premises and if he had any plans for customer parking.
Mastrangelo said he expects to be in Peabody most days and noted there is a small parking lot adjacent to the building and two nearby municipal lots.
Board chairman Minas Dakos said he hasn't patronized the original pub himself, but is aware of its good reputation around Boston.
He added he's also happy to see interest in the downtown spot, which may not be an "eyesore," but it's been vacant for a while and thus hasn't helped efforts to revitalize the area.
Light Commissioner Tom D'Amato and local resident Jack Murray stopped in for hearing to lend their support both professionally and personally for Mastrangelo. They both said they've known him for several years and that he has a reputation as an upstanding, civic-minded businessman who runs a top-notch operation.
"It's exactly what the square needs; it's a family restaurant," Murray said, speaking highly of his former employer. "People come there because of their hospitality, not only the good food."
"It's ironic that we're here tonight because I've asked him many times to come to Peabody," D'Amato said. "He's the kind of person we need to come to Peabody Square and help revitalize it."