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Warwick Place Will Have Theater, High-End Restaurant

The first floor of Warwick Place will be home to two theater spaces and an upscale restaurant.

The attorney representing the Warwick Realty Trust told Planning Board members that Marblehead's new 38,000-square-foot office and retail building on Pleasant Street has nailed down two tenants - a high-end restaurant and a theater.

Local attorney Paul Lynch appeared before board members at Tuesday night to request that they look over and approve a plan calling for administrative changes to the building's first floor and courtyard area that he will soon take before the Zoning Board.

"The whole first floor of the main building is going to be a restaurant to the left and a theater to the right," Lynch said. "In the middle will be a mini-theater that can be used for corporate conferences."

Lynch presented plans to have the restaurant's front windows converted to slide "like those at ," so that patrons could enojy some fresh air while dining.

Though he was not at liberty to reveal the name of the new restaurant that is coming to town, Lynch did describe it as high-scale and said "it's not a drive-thru, let's put it that way."

The current plan calls for a 100-seat restaurant with a full bar and an outdoor eating area for 40, which will open out into a rear courtyard.

The upper-floors are designed for office space.

Attached to the restaurant, Lynch said, will be a 108-seat movie theater. A second 72-seat theater for conferences will be located in the middle of the lower-level space.

Board members unanimously endorsed the proposed changes to the building Tuesday night.

The building is owned by local businessman and philanthropist Eijk van Otterloo, was designed by archietct Ken Kao and is being built by the Salem-based Groom Construction Co.

to view a month-by-month timeline of progress at the site.

Do you think a new theater will thrive in Marblehead? What kind of restaurant would you like to see open on the first floor? Let us know in the comments section.

Jo-Ann Giuggio July 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM
I think an upscale restaurant will fail. There are many many restaurants now in Marblehead.
Susan stone July 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I def think a movie theater will do well... I know I will go and my son and his friends will go...As far as a restaurant I dont know, there are so many in marblehead all ready
Lisa Kirk July 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM
I am hoping there will be a cafe type place there as was talked about in the original planning. I agree that an upscale restautant may struggle there.
Colleen Nial July 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I would be interested to see the demographic research for this site. Marblehead is not Boston - the movie theatre will draw local teens and families - not your typical high end restaurant patrons. With so many mediocre restaurants in town why not rent some space to someone able to serve the town's needs? Why not consider putting the new teen center there? At the very least some retail or cafe space that serves this part of our community. As "high end" as you want to make this space the reality is that it is still a mini mall, and will attract a mall crowd. Being realistic about the space now will prevent shuttered windows in 2014.
Jane July 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM
The success of 5 Corners Kitchen shows there is interest in "higher" end resturants. Barry's wonderful bistro demonstrates there is a population in this area that will frequent this level of resturant. 5 Corners brought in patrons from all over the North Shore as well as Boston.
F.B. King July 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I think the theater will do great there, and answers the prayers of many who have missed the Warwick Theater for years. As for a restaurant, why not? 'Twould be nice to be a Restaurant Destination town again ...
G. Montgomery July 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I agree. It would be nice to have fine dinning and bring patrons from all over instead of having to drive into the city or Beverly. Bringing people in for a nice dinning experience may also bring people to local shops/businesses. Remember "Rosalie's Restaurant, a 180-seat independent northern Italian operation in Marblehead, Mass., that was featured in a Clio award-winning commercial seen by uncounted millions on prime time television across the nation." It brought patrons from all over the area and beyond.
Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate July 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM
The success of restaurants depends on menu, ambiance and pricing. No way to tell beforehand if it will succeed or not. I'm happy a theater is going in but worry about it's viability as a second-run theater. Since most of the profit in theaters comes from concessions I question if Marbleheaders will pay for overpriced popcorn and soft drinks. If the food is upscale a family of four would be looking at a $100+ tab for a movie, which is a big number in the era of NetFlix. There's a lot of people who say they want a new Warwick, so let's see if they vote with their wallets.
John Buba July 11, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I am not aware of an available liquor license so who is going to give up a license for this project. FYI I favor unlimited liquor licenses. But as long as the selectmen are the ones to determine who wins and who loses in the license game, I wonder how they will pull this off?
Colleen Nial July 11, 2012 at 02:18 PM
5 Corners is a lovely addition and the only truly "good" dining experience in town. However, 5 Corners has a great location, a top local chef and a vision. If 5 Corners were in the Warwick Place mini-mall would you fight the theatre crowd and parking nightmare for your window street looking out onto that stretch of Pleasant? With so many empty storefronts in the historic area of town why should we want a good restaurant in this location? Please GOD tell me it's not a "Legal Seafood" restaurant!
Frank L. McElroy July 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
It's great that restaurateurs continue to make the effort to succeed in Marblehead despite a substantial rate of turnover. I have faith in the owner of this project and am confident that he has creative and winning business plans for each aspect of it. Paul Lynch's news about the first floor layout is very positive for Marblehead in my view. Loss of the Warwick Theater was part of a trend that has changed Marblehead for the worse, so I'm happy that an effort is being made to reverse that trend. Who knows, maybe there is a gas station somewhere in the future, even a medical clinic.
edgar knudson July 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
a movire theatre with 100 seats will have a avery hard time being proifitable. Film compaanies will not release first run films to a theatre that has such limited capacity, even assuming they run a full schedule, eg 1:00 PM thru 9:00 PM.Times shown are eestimates, but assume a continuous performance policy. That assumes a policy of mainstream attractions, if the decision is as a non-profit or art film venue, then availability may change. Howwever I doubt the location nwill have the same attraction availability as a multiplex
Debbie Hazellhazell July 11, 2012 at 06:19 PM
And where are 100 people going to park their cars?
Samantha July 11, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I'm just wondering exactly where the 140 upscale diners + 180 moviegoers will be expected to park! Sounds like a major traffic jam! Obviously Warwick Place is in an accessible part of town and HOPEFULLY those lucky enough to live close by will walk during the spring and summer, but how many of us walk during the winter months? Parking, traffic, and pedestrian management sound quite tricky in this location.
KlassySalem July 11, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Colleen, Why do you think that this will be just another mediocre restaurant? You said yourself that there is only one "good" dining experience in town. As an out of towner, I'll agree. The only place I'll come to Marblehead to eat is 5 Corners. I assure you that it is the food and service that make that so, not the intersection. And to answer your question, if it were 5 corners, in this location, yes, I'd fight my way in.
Ice cream lover July 11, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I think a theater will do great there. A restaurant it depends only if they have separate doors.
sandra broughton July 11, 2012 at 08:30 PM
My understanding from the original proposal is that there is parking as part of the project behind the development
Colleen Nial July 11, 2012 at 09:02 PM
@KlassySalem, I would LOVE to see a high quality restaurant come to town to keep 5 Corners company but when we have a picturesque downtown area and two harbors, why plop a good restaurant in a "38,000 square foot" new construction? When I hear 38,000 sq. feet and restaurant in the same sentence I think Applebees, Joe's, Legal Seafood and the like. The article also mentions over 100 seats for this restaurant, which seems less like a quality dining experience and more like a Barking Crab without the deck. As a resident I fully support the movie theater but I fail to see the need for all of the other add-ons I'm reading about today.
KlassySalem July 11, 2012 at 09:19 PM
100 is the new seating capacity for 5 Corners Kitchen. Let's wait till we hear what the restaurant is. 38k sq ft is the entire building, not the restaurant.
Jo Ann Augeri Silva July 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I'm not clear from the story who the owner/operator of the restaurant/theater will be. It seems, the way the article is written, that the two are connected. If so, will the theater be a privately-run, for-profit business? Is the Warwick Theatre Foundation involved or, as I've heard rumored, defunct? Would love to have these questions answered by the reporter, who left these issues unclear.
Kristen Nyberg July 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Jo Ann, To answer your question, the Warwick Theatre Foundation is not defunct. However, the theatre mentioned in this article is not connected with the Foundation, it is another model, a privately-run for-profit movie theater.
Jo Ann Augeri Silva July 12, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Thanks, Kristen.
North Shore July 12, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Where does all the donation money earned by the foundation (most recently from the restaurant and film event) go?
Kristen Nyberg July 12, 2012 at 07:09 PM
As details have not yet been made public about the possible tenants for Warwick Place, it is impossible for the Warwick Theatre Foundation to make a statement at this time. The Foundation strives for transparency and, as a certified 501(c)(3), is governed by specific regulations, so will certainly apprise the public of any future developments.
mary p. ayer July 14, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Are you kidding? We are talking about Paul Lynch and Eijk Van Otterloo!
Missy Scarlet July 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Exactly. They already eliminated five parking spaces from the original plan for no other reason than to improve aesthetics. A parking space is aesthetically pleasing to someone looking for a parking space!! And I believe they are trying to eliminate more parking spaces to allow for outdoor dining in back. They will have a lovely view of the tracks from there...
Missy Scarlet July 24, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Good observation Samantha. However, as a nearby resident, I am not the least bit excited about being able to walk to the restaurant or movie theater-- I am more concerned about where I will have to park when I come home from work. Everyone I've spoken to in the neighborhood has the same concerns. They have less than 90 parking spaces in the lot as it is. But big business always wins over mere residents.
Sheila McCredy October 01, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I understand the concerns over parking - but - All of the local residents have "off street" parking areas so they have a space waiting for them when they return home. As for the 100+ car problem, this implies that almost everyone will be coming alone. Restaurants and movies, to me, mean going with a friend or two. And there is one more thing - many of us through out the town have "on street" parking squeezes, it's part of living here. Remember this the next time you park in front of a store - in any town.

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