Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 17, 2014

Hoping for positive Karma; Delayed by utility work, new sushi restaurant eager to open

Delayed by utility work, new sushi restaurant eager to open

Karma, a new restaurant proposed for Shawsheen Plaza, has been plagued by delays, but should be open soon, according to the owner’s attorney.

The Japanese/Chinese fusion cuisine eatery had planned on opening in the North Main Street plaza over the winter, but ran into problems with a gas line, a sewer line and electrical work, according to Brian Burke, who represents owner Iverson Guo.

Karma will be located next to Planet Fitness in a section of the space left vacant when Marshalls off-price department store closed in 2011.

Guo told The Townsman last July that he intended to open a 200-seat restaurant, which will ultimately include about 40 seats on an outdoor patio.

Andover would be Guo’s second restaurant location. He opened the first Karma in Westford. The restaurant offers a wide selection of Asian cuisine, including a specialty “fusion sushi” that combines Japanese sushi with French flavors.

Last August, the Board of Selectmen granted Karma an all-alcohol liquor license, which was then approved by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in September.

When the six-month approval on the liquor license expired in April and Karma was still under construction, Burke applied for a two-month extension.

The extension, he said at the time, was needed due to “unforeseen changes in the construction and build of the restaurant.”

The changes were required because of the restaurant’s size and equipment, he said. The waste pipe that runs from the restaurant to the septic system needed to be expanded. The gas line also had to be expanded to accommodate the number of gas stoves. And the electrical work has taken longer than expected because new wiring needed to be run through Planet Fitness, he said.

In June, Burke realized he needed to apply for another extension, and asked selectmen to waive their policy that allows only one, two-month extension per liquor licensee. Selectmen approved a second extension June 16.

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