SAUGUS — Selectmen approved a plan cooked up by a pair of local restaurateurs for the former Spud’s Restaurant site Wednesday night.
“We have a lot of activity on Route 1 and this is kind of off the beaten path,” said Selectman Jeff Ciccolini. “This has more of a downtown feel. (Kevin Ye) is already doing business in town. His current establishment has been nothing but exceptional.”
With the unanimous approval, Kevin Ye, owner of Oye’s Restaurant on Route 1, and his brother Wan Xi Ye, will open a new spot to grab a bite to eat.
The space at 21 Lincoln Ave., was home to Spud’s for about three decades, and to Heck Allen’s for more than 30 years before that.
The half-acre property, 7,296-square-foot building, and liquor license hit the market last fall for $1.2 million after the restaurant closed in June. The sale was contingent upon the approval of a liquor license transfer from Spud’s by the Saugus Board of Selectmen.
Wan Xi Ye has been an assistant manager at Fusion House in Methuen for almost a decade. Kevin Ye also owns 2Twenty2, a restaurant in Boston, with a group of partners, he said.
The pair plan to open a new restaurant called K Pub, a high-end sports bar and restaurant that serves American and Chinese cuisine as well as sushi.
The new restaurant will employ 25 to 35 people, according to a liquor license application submitted to the Board of Selectmen, which was obtained by The Item.
Kevin Ye said he envisions a high end sports pub where people can stop for dinner on their way home from work.
The restaurant will have 185 seats and four televisions. The layout of the restaurant and the parking lot will remain the same as it was when Spud’s was open. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. through 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The owners will be required to install an external grease trap at the establishment. A regulation that changed the requirements for the disposal of fat, oil, and grease waste in new restaurants was implemented in 2015, but many existing businesses were only required to make modifications to their existing system on a case by case basis.
“(Kevin Ye) has been nothing but a friend to this town and I’m very pleased that he’s looking to open another business in town, even though (he and his brother) have to install a grease trap, which can be very costly,” said Selectman Scott Brazis.
“What’s better than having somebody who has already proven they can handle the responsibility,” said Ciccolini. “I think you’ve been an exceptional business owner in town and clearly you’re here for the long haul.”
Kevin Ye told The Item he expects to spend a few months on renovations before opening at the end of the summer.