Questions abound as EOP learns that Stonewood Tavern owner Sal Palumbo will ask that a hearing on amending his entertainment license be recessed on Thursday night when the issue is due to come before Peabody’s City Council.
For various reasons, applicants sometimes decide last-minute not to have their issue heard. Sometimes that reason is that they learn ahead of time that they won’t have the votes necessary to gain enough support for their issue.
In this case, the city council must still vote whether to recess the hearing and table the issue for now. Stonewood was attempting to expand its entertainment license to allow full scale bands in a recently added on nightclub area. Back in July 2011, when attorney David Ankeles, on behalf of Palumbo, brought the plans for the restaurant to the city council to get approval for a special permit to operate, the only real talk of “entertainment” was an occasional small jazz band within the confines of a 95-seat restaurant.
Since opening, Stonewood had been a positive addition to this South Peabody neighborhood as Palumbo’s property helped revitalize a previously abandoned lot on Lynnfield Street. But over the past several months, and following a large expansion, the Stonewood has been featuring full-scale bands in its new nightclub, which has drawn major concerns from neighbors who were led to believe that it would only be an upscale bistro.
According to a source, more than 20 neighbors had planned to be in attendance at the hearing on Thursday to offer opposition to a nightclub that is already operating without approval of the city council’s special permit process.
The question now is what becomes of the nightclub that’s already open? One possibility is that the building inspector’s office might be forced to issue a cease and desist order, essentially shutting down the nightclub portion of Stonewood until it can properly come before the city council.
Stay tuned. We’ll have more details here as they occur.
In a related story, two sources tell EOP that Palumbo is also looking into purchasing the nearby parcel at 143 Lynnfield Street from developer Bob Denisco. Part of Denisco’s plans for the site, which once housed an old tannery, were to rent to the Yellow Jackets Gymnastics organization. We have no details at this time as to what Palumbo’s plans would be for that property.