BEVERLY — A renowned chef who ran one of Boston’s best-known restaurants is bringing his talents to Beverly.
Frank McClelland, who owned and operated L’Espalier for 30 years before closing it in December, is planning to open a restaurant and specialty grocery store on Rantoul Street.
The businesses will be located side-by-side on the first floor of Holmes Beverly, the newly opened apartment building at 110 Rantoul St., in front of the MBTA parking garage.
McClelland, who lives in Essex, said in a statement that he is a longtime resident of the North Shore and is “excited to bring a new restaurant and retail concept to Holmes Beverly and build upon the city’s creative, local culture.”
“The majority of our partners and vendors are rooted here on the North Shore,” he said.
McClelland closed L’Espalier in December, saying the lease on the Boylston Street location was up and that he had a new, undisclosed project in mind. That project, as it turned out, is in Beverly.
“He’s definitely world-renowned, so for little ole Beverly to be able to attract someone of his caliber is really going to be special,” Beverly Main Streets Executive Director Gin Wallace said.
McClelland appeared before the city’s licensing board Thursday night at City Hall and was granted liquor licenses for both the restaurant and the grocery store, which will occupy the entire first floor of the Holmes Beverly apartment building.
Five residents of the adjacent Depot Square condominiums showed up for the meeting. They had questions about noise, trash, and hours of operation, but all expressed support for the project.
“I’ve been to L’Espalier,” said Sharon Rogers. “I’m thrilled to hear you’re coming to Beverly.”
“We do look forward to having a quality business next to us,” added Connie Pyette.
McClelland said he closed L’Espalier because he wanted to open a restaurant closer to his home in Essex. The Beverly restaurant will have 148 seats and will serve what he called “New England heritage food, with a little bit of European food.” There will also be an outdoor patio.
The grocery store next to the restaurant will sell prepared meals to-go and will have a bakery and coffee shop. There will be 16 seats where people can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. The store will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 or 6:30 p.m., McClelland said.
McClelland told the neighbors he will work with them to address any of their questions. “I understand your concerns living right there,” he said. “I’m glad you’re here.”
The six-story Holmes Beverly building opened last fall and is described on its website as having “luxury apartments.” The building includes a roof deck, library, fireplace hearth, fitness and yoga spaces, a covered dog run, and a “pocket park” with outdoor dining, according to its website. Rents range from $1,825 per month for a studio apartment to $3,150 for a two-bedroom.
Sarah Barnat of Barnat Development, which built Holmes Beverly, said in a statement that McClelland will be a “great addition to the already vibrant foodie and art scene in Beverly.”
McClelland was named one of the country’s top 25 new chefs by Food & Wine in 1986 and bought L’Espalier in 1988. The restaurant received 17 consecutive five-diamond awards from AAA, according to a biography of McClelland on the former restaurant’s website.
McClelland grew up on his grandparents’ farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and was an early advocate of the farm-to-table dining philosophy, his biography said. He helped open Riversbend in Essex in 2016 but is no longer involved with that restaurant.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.