Every week we set out to answer a question submitted by one of our readers as part of our column.
Have you seen the sign for The Peabody Diner? Curious what’s going on with the vacant restaurant space at 10 Margin St. near the Salem line?
Well, here's your answer.
Pretty soon, you’ll be able to grab a bite at 10 Margin St. once again.
West Peabody resident Vincenzo Valenti plans to open a small diner at the corner of Margin and Driscoll streets, which was home to until that restaurant closed about a year ago. The building has been vacant since then.
The new eatery will be called simply The Peabody Diner and serve up traditional diner fare – takeout is also on the menu.
A white sign with red and black lettering displayed in the window of the building says the new diner is coming soon and bills itself as "Home of the big breakfast."
Building Commissioner Kevin Goggin said Valenti has received both his special permit and building permit to open the new restaurant and expects the new restaurant will be open sometime in February. Goggin said there were no plans submitted for major renovations.
He said the diner is pretty cozy and seats about 12 people max -- six to eight counter seats with another four to six seats at tables. The restaurant space is only 1,259 square feet, according to city records.
In December, the City Council approved a transfer of the special permit from Louis Rome (owner of The Bite) over to Valenti. City records show the property is owned by two Malden residents acting as trustees. Goggin said Valenti is renting the site.
Valenti agreed to abide by all the conditions of the permit, which mainly concerns operating hours of 6 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Sundays, no parking on Driscoll Street and deals with some landscaping and snow removal issues.
The owners had sought approval from the council this past fall to convert the building into a convenience store, but ultimately dropped those plans after Ward 3 Councilor Rico Mello asked to have a full special permit hearing to allow the neighbors a chance to publicly speak on the issue.
Mello said at the time that he wasn’t necessarily opposed to the proposal, but he felt the neighbors should be allowed to speak on it.
Goggin said the property has been a restaurant for about 30 years, although it changed hands a few times in that span. Prior to that, it was a gas station.