Marty Bloom, a local restaurateur who founded Vinny Testa's and owns Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport, is close to cementing a deal to purchase Davis Square's Rosebud Diner, according to Bloom, who attended a Somerville Licensing Commission meeting Wednesday night.
Bloom said the completed sale would likely become final sometime in late March or early April. He was at the Licensing Commission meeting to request the transfer of Rosebud's alcohol, victualer and entertainment licenses to his company, a request the commission approved.
Bloom said he plans to leave the exterior of the diner untouched. "It's iconic," he told the commission, saying, "I have talked to the historic commission in depth" about the local landmark.
However, he plans to renovate the interior of the diner and the restaurant space behind the diner. He also plans to revamp the menu, he said.
"We're going to be doing a big upgrade on it," he told the commission, saying he wants to merge the diner and the restaurant area into one space, change the floor plan and update the kitchen and bathrooms. He'll probably put in a new bar and stage, he said.
As for the menu, Bloom said he plans to serve food that's "a little newer" and "contemporary."
"Updating the classics," he called it.
He cautioned that "this all could change" as plans for the diner evolve into something more definitive. Initially the restaurant would just see "minor renovations," he said.
Rosebud would likely close for some time while renovations take place, Bloom said.
News of the sale comes about six months after reports surfaced that something was going on with the diner. In June, Somerville Scout had a conversation with Bill Nichols, son of Rosebud's owner, Gally Nichols. The younger Nichols told the magazine his father was planning to close the diner. Gally Nichols later said the story was a rumor.