Pasta patience may have finally paid off for the owner of Salvatore's Restaurant who says he is getting ready to open his newest full-scale restaurant in downtown Andover after a very long wait.
"It's been a 23-year wait to get into Andover...Andover has so much potential," said Salvatore "Sal" Lupoli of Chelmsford who says he will open his new restaurant in Andover by the end of the year.
The restaurant will be located at 34 Park St., the former location of The Rugged Bear. The retail space has been empty since The Rugged Bear closed in March after 12 years.
Salvatore's Restaurant will also occupy the retail space next door. It formerly was a hair salon.
"We'll start construction on that corner of the building (the former hair salon) and plan to have about 4,300 square feet," Lupoli said.
"It will be a dynamic, full-service restaurant with high end decor...I just love the community. We deliver pizzas to schools there and I have met so many nice people from Andover. I want to support the community and am so happy that the wait is over after 23 years," Lupoli said.
The Andover location will be the fifth Salvatore's Restaurant in the state. The others are located in Lawrence and Medford, and there are two in Boston.
Seat totals for Andover are still being sorted out, Lupoli said. He has been working with Andover's Planning Director Paul Materazzo and does not anticipate any permit problems with regard to turning a retail space into a restaurant, he said. Materazzo is on vacation this week.
It's a new look for the location as it was once a bowling alley, and developed as retail space in 1998. Lillian Montalto's real estate office is now the only tenant at 34 Park St.
Lupoli is especially thrilled with the private parking lot that comes with his new Andover location.
"Plus, there's parking across the street in the (town-owned) lot...just a great location for us," he said.