LYNNFIELD — Less than six months after the Bali Hai restaurant served its last Mai Tai, the shuttered landmark is coming back with an American menu.
The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the transfer of the all-alcohol license to Matthew and David Polumbo, who purchased the Polynesian restaurant on Moulton Drive for $600,000.
The Lynnfield twins plan to renovate the 48-year-old restaurant, and open the American 160 Bar & Grill. The 273-seat pub will serve comfort food, including steak tips, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and feature a children’s menu. They promise the dishes will be priced lower than restaurants at MarketStreet, the open-air mall just off Route 128.
Matthew Polumbo said they will operate the restaurant while they battle in Land Court to overturn the Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision that rejected plans for a luxury apartment building on the property.
Following their purchase of the 1.4-acre parcel in December, the brothers formed MDK Ventures LLC to manage a restaurant specializing in contemporary American cuisine.
“It’s always been our goal to open a restaurant,” Matthew Polumbo told the board. “It will be family-run, and have a local Lynnfield pub feeling.”
To compete with MarketStreet, he vowed to fill a need in town that’s missing, and that’s an affordable place to eat with lots of parking.
“We had to do something different,” he said. “The Ninety Nine Restaurant is packed when I drive by because MarketStreet is expensive and people from Lynnfield want to put on a pair of jeans and have a beer with their buddies.”
He is convinced his new restaurant will be a success.
“We will cater to families who use the nearby park,” he said.
“As local guys, we expect people will come back multiple times and tell their friends and family.”