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License transferred for new restaurant on Pearl Street

NORTHAMPTON — The License Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to transfer the liquor and entertainment licenses held by the former Tully O’Reilly’s and The Elevens to new management.

Pending state approval, Fitzwilly’s general manager Matthew Gibbs and Toasted Owl bar manager Lauren Pomponio will operate a new restaurant, bar and entertainment venue at 1 Pearl St.

Gibbs said he hopes to have the new restaurant, to be called One Bar & Grill, open by late summer.

Renovations inside the building will take a couple of months, but Gibbs said he does not want to begin work until the license transfer is approved by the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

Gibbs said that work will include the removal of the dance floor, jukebox and pool tables from the building. The new restaurant will emphasize food over the bar and will feature “bistro-esque” fare, Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the side of the building that housed The Elevens will still operate as an entertainment venue for live music, but will try to lure larger, regional acts at first and will only operate Thursdays through Sundays.

Gibbs said he still wants to promote and support local musicians, but needs to book acts that will draw larger crowds and revenue first before opening the venue on other nights and booking acts that would draw smaller crowds.

Gibbs said the first two acts that have been booked are an Elton John cover band and a Bon Jovi cover band.

Gibbs said he and Pomponio plan on hiring a staff of about 30.

Gibbs said he agreed to abide by the restrictions in Tully O’Reilly’s entertainment license that prohibit disc jockeys from performing. Those restrictions were added to the license after a five-day suspension was ordered at the bar in September in response to police complaints about frequent problems.

The bars served another two-day suspension in December for violating the no-DJ clause.

Tully O’Reilly’s owner Tully McColgan closed the bars last month. Gibbs said he only purchased the licenses, not the building itself, and declined comment on how much he paid for them.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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