Business, News

Route 1 Grillhouse looks to add outdoor seating to business

SAUGUS — As new development is erected and the culture of Route 1 changes, a Saugus restaurateur wants to change with it.

“During the summertime, people want to be outside when the weather is nice,” said Jeff Floramo, owner of Route 1 Grillhouse.

Floramo is asking the town for permits to add an outdoor seating area to his business and to allow live music on weekends.

He knows he needs to adapt to the changing atmosphere of the highway and is hoping to attract foot traffic from neighboring AvalonBay Communities, which will have 280 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. 110 Grill and Starbucks have already opened their doors at the $10 million development.

The proposed outdoor seating area would accommodate up to 33 people in a patio area with tables and a high countertop. There would be fencing facing the high top seating and some sort of soundproofing to alleviate noise from the highway, said Floramo.

Similarly, Kowloon Restaurant added outdoor seating to their offerings last summer. Down the road there are other steakhouses, including Jimmy’s Steer House. A LongHorn Steakhouse is slated to take over the Sears Automotive building at the Square One Mall.

Floramo said he’s optimistic about a possible uptick in business with 280 neighbors moving in next door.

Route 1 Grillhouse already serves up sizzling steak tips, ribs, chicken, seafood, and Italian dishes and Floramo hopes to implement a brunch menu to cater to a changing crowd.

Floramo also wants a live band Thursday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight. He suggested a “small live group or band to perform several times a month” on his application, which was obtained by The Item.

“We have the reclaimed wood look,” said Floramo. “It’s very rustic. Kind of a country feel.”

He’s thinking of bringing in a country band for entertainment.

“Not many places have that,” he said.

The Board of Selectmen will discuss the request at a March 6 meeting.

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