There were signs of life inside the former Moran Studios space on Atlantic Avenue Tuesday morning where a new Italian eatery is slated to open up later this year.
The vacant commercial storefront will be the future home of Comella's, a family-owned chain of Italian restaurants and the fourth Italian spot in Marblehead's downtown.
The small eatery is expected to seat 12, but generate most of its business from meals-to-go. The owners said back in October they expected to be open within six months.
The Zoning Board of Appeals granted approvals for the new business this past fall, changing the allowed use of the building back to a restaurant from retail.
Gene Comella says he opened his first restaurant in Wellesley back in 1988 with the concept of selling homemade fresh pastas, sauces and dinners to families at affordable prices.
The Marblehead location would also be Comella's entre to the North Shore dining scene -- existing eateries are in Arlington, Belmont, Chestnut Hill, Concord, Natick, Needham, Wellesley, West Newton and West Roxbury. A Comella's is also planned for Melrose.
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