PITTSFIELD -- The city Licensing Board cleared the way Monday for the opening of a new restaurant at the former Winter Street location of Mazzeo's Ristorante, which moved to South Street.
The board unanimously approved the all-alcohol restaurant license for the 7 Winter Grille, which is expected to feature steakhouse fare. The hours of operation will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
A group headed by local restaurateur Jae Chung's wife, Suzanne, purchased the building from Anthony C. Mazzeo earlier this year. Ten Dewey LLC, purchased it for $158,000, according to documents on file at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds. Suzanne Chung is listed as both the resident agent and secretary of Ten Dewey.
Jae Chung has operated several restaurants in Berkshire County, including Jae's Asian Bistro, which is in the Lenox Commons on Route 7. Suzanne Chung is also the president of Twin Sisters Food Service Inc., the family corporation that runs Jae's Asian Bistro.
Mazzeo's Ristorante was located at 7 Winter St. from its opening in 1988 until it moved to 1015 South St. in February 2010. The structure at 7 Winter St. dates to 1917.
The corporation formed to operate the new entity on Winter Street, Seven Winter Grille Inc., is headed by Patricia Ann Boynton of Becket.
Attorney Jeffrey Lynch of Lenox, representing the new owners, said Michael Mulligan will manage the new restaurant.
Also Monday, the board informed Kim Van Huyhn, owner of The Dragon Restaurant at 1231 W. Housatonic St., that he must decide soon whether to re-open his closed restaurant or consider selling the property and/or its beer and wine license.
Huyhn said he will make another attempt to operate the restaurant beginning in June. If that is unsuccessful, he said, he would "turn it in so someone else can use it," referring to the license.
Board members urged him to consider selling the license itself if the restaurant closes, even if he can't sell the property, saying they had never heard of someone relinquishing a liquor license. "It does have value," board member Dana Doyle said. "You should sell it."
Chairman Carmen C. Massimiano Jr. said the board "really can't go on forever" allowing the license if the establishment connected to it is not operating. He added, "I don't understand why you don't sell it."
Huyhn agreed to report back to the board at its June meeting on the status of the business and license. The issue was tabled until then.
The board also approved a later closing time, 1 a.m., for Thistle & Mirth at 44 West St., after a request from Manager Joad Bowman. The establishment, which serves appetizer food only, has a downtown malt and wine license.
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