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January 7, 2014

Two Ipswich eateries seek one liquor license

IPSWICH — The competition is heating up between two restaurant owners for the town’s only available wine and malt liquor license.

Two restaurant owners were slated to make their pitch for the license during a public hearing at the selectmen’s meeting last night, but the hearing was continued until Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. after one of the owners couldn’t make it.

The two applicants are Frank Pellino, owner of Mamma Louisa Cucina & Bar on Central Street, and Mark Macklin, the former owner of Stone Soup who is in the process of opening a new burger joint at 20 Mitchell Road. Pellino told town officials prior to the meeting that he was unable to attend.

Macklin’s restaurant will be called Bunz Burger, according to the application. He declined to comment on the restaurant concept or when it might open when asked after last night’s meeting. He would run the restaurant along with his daughter, Hannah.

Selectmen will have to choose between the two restaurants before making a recommendation to the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. The board must consider the applications “with a view only to serve the public need and in such a manner as to protect the common good,” among other things, according to Massachusetts law.

Each of the applicants will likely be asked a serious of questions from the board during the hearing, including, “How would your establishment receiving the license enhance the community?”

The last time such a license was available in 2012, two restaurants competed for it — Rossini’s Pizzeria and Christopher’s Table. The license was granted to Christopher’s Table, a bakery, cafe and wine bar in Depot Square, according to selectmen’s meeting minutes.

Macklin was given the opportunity to speak before the board last night but declined, saying he’d prefer to wait until the Jan. 21 meeting.

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