Khoury's State Spa Space Is Going Upscale; New Restaurant Coming
A new East Somerville restaurant will feature classic American food with a Southern twist.
A restaurant called East End Grill will move into the Lower Broadway space once occupied by Khoury's State Spa, a bar that closed in 2009.
Owners of East End Grill attended a Somerville Licensing Commission meeting Monday night to secure a liquor license for the new restaurant.
Mike Cotter, a manager at Orleans in Davis Square, will be a general manager and co-owner of the new restaurant along with Mike Bandar, the two said after their appearance before the commission. Stephen Bandar will also be an owner, they said.
The team has plans to completely renovate the front of the building, at 118-120 Broadway, currently a dark, uninviting, almost windowless facade of the sort favored by bars built decades ago.
Cotter and Bandar said they have plans to add big windows to the front of the space, somewhat like the windows at Highland Kitchen.
Cotter said the restaurant's food will be "classic American, with a little touch of Southern cuisine." Roberto Coreia will be the chef, and he comes from the Ames Hotel in Boston, Cotter said.
Bandar said about half menu will feature vegitarian dishes and the other half will feature meat dishes.
They hope to open in late summer or early fall, but pointed out that restaurant openings often take longer than expected.
The team's lawyer, Anne Vigorito, told the commission the restaurant will be "a complete departure from what it was."
According to press reports from the time of its closing, Khoury's had a reputation as a somewhat violent dive. The Boston Globe said it was "reviled as a magnet for violence, praised as a down-home community spot." On Yelp, one female reviewer wrote, "The police are always there probably because of sketchy things happening right under your nose. Pun intended. The beer is cheap, like the women. I actually had a guy say to me one night 'so we going home and F*&#ing or what?' I went home alone."
Vigorito told the commission East End Grill will have "A family friendly type of atmosphere" and the owners are conducting a "complete revamping of the restaurant."
The licensing commission approved the transfer of a liquor license from New Asia Restaurant to the new owners, doing business as Broadway BBQ. Vigorito told the licensing commission the license being transferred was priced at $125,000.