SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 3, 2012

Ruling favors waterfront restaurant

Beverly has won another round in its legal battle to allow a Black Cow restaurant on the waterfront, but the long-running dispute might not be over.

A Superior Court judge has denied the latest appeal by the owners of Beverly Port Marina to prevent the restaurant from being built on city-owned property next to the marina, Mayor Bill Scanlon said last night.

Port Marina could file a final appeal with the state Appeals Court. Port Marina owner Frank Kinzie said last night that he had not seen the decision so he could not comment.

If there is no further appeal, Scanlon said construction of the restaurant could begin “almost immediately.”

“We’re very pleased,” he said. “We were expecting this decision, but we’re still pleased to get it. I think it’s proving that it pays to stay the course.”

In a press release, the city said licensing and construction of the restaurant would take about 16 months, meaning the restaurant could open in November 2013.

The plan to build the Black Cow, which would give Beverly its only waterfront restaurant, dates back to 2006. That’s when Joseph Leone, who owns Black Cows in Hamilton and Newburyport, first proposed building one on waterfront land that the city has been trying to develop for decades.

Leone would lease the land from the city at a price that has yet to be negotiated. In his 2006 proposal, he said he would spend $1.5 million to build the restaurant and another $1 million in improvements to the area. The land, next to the Beverly-Salem bridge, has been mostly unused since a McDonald’s restaurant closed in 1994.

Kinzie has opposed the Black Cow plan on the grounds that a restaurant should not be built in an area that the state has classified as a “designated port area,” designed to serve as a working waterfront.

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