, Salem, MA

Local News

April 4, 2013

Heard Around Town: Rare treat on tap for Peabody’s For the Birds Gala


The citywide effort lasts until Wednesday. Leading it are eighth-graders Katie Wallace and Matt D’Amato.

For more information, contact mayoral aide Chris Ryder at 978-538-5701 or Higgins Principal Todd Bucey at 978-536-4800.


It was no place for a claustrophobic. A shoehorn couldn’t have fit more people into Champions Pub on Tuesday night as supporters of Leah Cole’s successful campaign to win the special election for state representative celebrated. Regular customers seemed to take all the crowding and commotion in stride, however. Waiters and waitresses delivered meals by balancing trays high above and snaking their way past raucous revelers.

Newspeople, dripping sweat, had to fight through raised beer glasses and bottles to get near the smiling victor. It was all a sharp contrast to her opponents’ headquarters, the AOH and Knights of Columbus Hall, where there was plenty of room and still more of it as the bad news came in.

Champions manager Kevin Houlden explained later that he was simply asked to host the event — he never accommodated such a gathering before and wasn’t part of the campaign.

“We weren’t one way or the other,” he said.

None of the regulars complained, he added. He estimates that 90 percent of the crowd had come to celebrate the victory. It’s something he would be happy to do again.

Have one on Peabody

The Licensing Board had one to give, and they gave the all-alcoholic license to John Mastrangelo, who intends to open Kelley Square Pub in the downtown space that previously hosted the Fire Bull Restaurant.

“It’s a good thing for Peabody,” board Chairman Minas Dakos said. “We’re trying to revitalize the downtown.”

Mastrangelo, he noted, has a good record operating a Kelley Square Pub in East Boston. Speaking on his behalf was Tom D’Amato of the Light Commission.

While a Salem man had initially expressed interest in obtaining the license, Mastrangelo was the only one to apply for it.

The vote was 3-0 in favor of him. Dakos notes that Mastrangelo’s brother Steve runs the Courthouse Pub just up the street.

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