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August 29, 2012

'A great restaurant scene'

In wake of downtown closings come three new places to eat in Beverly

(Continued)

BEVERLY —

Harry’s 240, which is on Rantoul Street, has been bought by Michael Magner, the owner of Prides Pizza in Beverly Farms.

Magner bought Prides Pizza three years ago after patronizing the shop when he was a student at Endicott College. His new restaurant, Prides Bar & Grille, will open on Rantoul Street on Labor Day. He’ll also open another Prides Pizza right behind the restaurant on Park Street.

Magner said he’s excited about coming to Rantoul Street, an area the city has targeted for development of apartments and retail.

“They’re redoing the whole street,” he said. “It’s going to be beautiful.”

Jennifer Lynch, who owned Mandrake with her husband for seven years before they sold it to Paras, said the ownership turnover does not mean there has been a downturn in the city’s restaurant business.

Lynch said she and husband decided to sell because Paras approached them and “it just turned out to be the right time for us.”

“I think it’s a coincidence that everyone was selling at the same time,” she said. “(The restaurant scene) will be right back where it used to be. It’s just in transition.”

Gin Wallace, executive director of Beverly Main Streets, said it’s sad to see restaurants go out of business, but she considers it encouraging for the city that none of the three locations is going to stay empty for long.

“People were in the wings waiting to open a place in Beverly,” she said.

The closing of Tryst and Mandrake does mean the loss of two of the city’s upscale restaurants, Wallace said. She described their replacements as more “mid-priced range.”

“We still have Chianti and Wild Horse at the upper price point downtown,” she said. “These new places are going to be very popular.”

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