Route 1 will soon have a new package store and New York style deli in one convenient location.
Frank Martino, who operates the Topsfield Commons function facility in Topsfield, is looking to open up his new “upscale” store in vacant commercial space at 202 Newbury St. – the plaza was formerly home to Countrywide Home Loans and has been mostly empty for two or three years. There is now an office for .
Martino and Peabody attorney John Keilty were before the City Council last month for a special permit to sell alcohol as a package store and to allow a fast food operation in that particular zoning district, which is Business Regional (BR).
The preliminary plans submitted to the city indicate food service will be takeout only. A pizzeria was also included in the initial application, but it’s unclear if those plans since changed. Martino was unavailable for comment on this story.
The council unanimously signed off on both uses and Martino then received similar approval from the Licensing Board for the city’s new all-alcohol retail license.
Martino is waiting for the state Alcohol Beverages Control Commission to likewise approve the liquor license application before beginning renovations at the new business and determining when he might be ready to open to the public.
“I think it will be a welcome addition to Route 1,” said Keilty.
Martino told councilors he plans to sell craft beers and fine wines in the package store, designate about a third of the 2,204-square-foot unit to an authentic New York style deli and have an area for gift baskets. He also wants to offer customers monthly wine tastings.
Ward 5 Councilor David Gamache said it’s been years since there has been a good deli in that area of West Peabody.
“This looks great,” said At-Large Councilor Ted Bettencourt, perusing through a brochure of sandwiches and meals that will be on the menu – Martino handed each councilor a brochure, complete with full-color photos.
The deli would include fresh meats, dairy and sandwiches on freshly baked breads for takeout, along with homemade potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, soups other deli staples.
Martino said he plans to sell various imported products, such as olive oil, dried pasta, artisan cheeses and crackers, chocolates and other desserts and espresso. On the coffee front, using his existing service called “Black Tie Espresso,” he added that he’d like to run espresso classes as well as serving coffee to go.
The store hours as presented to the city are 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon - 6 p.m. on Sunday.