EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 27, 2012

Three new eateries betting on North Andover

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER – Three of North Andover’s newest businesses hope to win over local palates.

The selectmen Monday night approved common victualler’s licenses for Zinga!, a shop that sells frozen yogurt at 560 Turnpike St., and Pazzo Gelato Cafe, which will be located in the Eagle Shops on Route 114.

Meanwhile, Sam Lei, new owner of the former Beijing Restaurant at 1250 Osgood St., told The Eagle-Tribune yesterday he anticipates opening the Hokkaido Restaurant at that site within a month.

The restaurant will offer Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine.

Lei is supervising extensive renovations to the interior of the former Beijing, which closed in May 2011 after the selectmen revoked its liquor license.

The board approved an all-alcohol license for Lei in October.

Sal Dell Isola of North Reading has been operating Zinga! for the last couple of weeks , but he did not have the required common victualler’s license.

Initially, the selectmen were miffed that Dell Isola had started doing business without such a license.

Tracy Watson said she is a “business-friendly selectman,” but the lack of a common victualler’s license “is a problem and sets a bad precedent.”

“Somebody missed the boat,” said Selectman Donald Stewart.

Selectman Rosemary Connelly Smedile, who chairs the board when its meets as the Licensing Commission, said, “This has never happened before.”

Dell Isola, however, showed up at the meeting just minutes after the board had tentatively decided to authorize Town Manager Andrew Maylor to grant a common victualler’s license if all of Zinga!’s paperwork was in order.

Dell Isola apologized profusely, explaining that he assumed the occupancy permit issued by the town was sufficient for him to start selling frozen yogurt.

“I wasn’t aware of it,” he said of the need for a common victualler’s license. There were a number of inspectors he had to work with and “so much going on,” he said.

“We didn’t want to shut you down,” Smedile said. “We’re delighted to have you in town.”

Attorney James Demotses, proprietor of the Pazzo Gelato Cafe, told the selectmen “it was a pleasure to work with the town departments.”

He said he expects the new cafe, located next to the Thyme restaurant, will open sometime in February.

Like Lei at the Hokkaido, he is doing renovations, he explained.