ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Jeffrey Floramo is set to open a new restaurant at the site of the now-closed Papagayo.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
SAUGUS — Rumors that meat will be falling off the bone in Saugus have strengthened in the past week, but Chelsea’s Floramo’s Restaurant owner maintains he is not affiliated with a new business planned for Route 1 South.
A restaurant, owned by Jeffrey Floramo, will open at the former site of Papagayo, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar that closed earlier this year, at 817 Broadway in August.
Floramo told the Saugus Board of Selectmen Wednesday that he anticipates his menu will be “very similar to the existing Floramo menu and what we had at Clubhouse Cafe.”
Hungry customers will feast on barbeque, marinated steak tips, ribs, and Italian chicken parmesan, he said.
But John Floramo, the owner of the well-known Floramo’s in Chelsea, maintains that the incoming restaurant has no affiliation with his family’s business.
John Floramo told The Item Friday that, though Jeffrey Floramo is his cousin, there is no affiliation between his family’s restaurant and the eatery slated to open on Route 1.
“He has said he’s going to duplicate our menu — we don’t know how he’s going to do that,” he said.
In a post on the Floramo’s Facebook page, he wrote: “We at Floramo’s Restaurant are aware of the rumors that we are moving to Route 1 in Saugus. Apparently there are some individuals that are claiming to be affiliated with our family and our business and saying that they possess the same menu that we have so we would like to set the record straight for those of you that are inquiring.
“Floramo’s has only ever been owned by two people. One being our founder, Thomas J. (Tommy) Floramo. The second being his son, the current and sole owner, John Thomas Floramo. Floramo’s Restaurant does not have partners, silent or otherwise and never has, despite untrue claims. The only owner and President is John Floramo.
“We are not moving and are not opening a second location and our menu and recipes are Tommy and John’s and cannot be duplicated. We appreciate all your loyal patronage over the last 3 (almost 4) decades and we look forward to many more.”
Jeffrey Floramo initially requested the establishment to be called Floramo’s Clubhouse but removed the request from the application Wednesday.
“We received some communication from a family member of Mr. Floramo indicating they did not want the use of the name Floramo’s Clubhouse and on our application, we had that as a ‘doing business as,’” said attorney Richard Magnan, who represents Jeffrey Floramo. “I filed a letter with (the board) today, making the requested to you we be allowed to amend our applications to delete that reference.”
A name for the new restaurant will be determined at a later date.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte