During the 77 years of Napoli’s Pizza’s existence, its new owner says, people have not been able to eat sitting down on site.
Richard LeClaire said that will change in a sense when he begins serving the independent pizzeria’s offerings at his just-approved add-on, Napoli’s Tavern, at the corner of Cedar and Eighth Avenue, Haverhill. Neighbors, however, expressed concern, recalling problems when a barroom called The Other Place was there. Martha Meads opposed the License Commission’s approval of full liquor and food licenses.
“I had hypodermic needles. I had used condoms. I had beer bottles all over my yard. This is not going to be a family restaurant,” she charged.
Another neighbor, Paul Stephanotis, also recalled bad experiences when a barroom was located there, citing noise, people arguing, smoking and the sidewalk being crowded.
“Ever since the bar closed, I haven’t had these empty beer bottles. I haven’t had syringes. I haven’t had any issues other than regular trash being blown up and down the street,” he said.
LeClair, who also owns Grumpy’s Bar & Grill in Plaistow, N.H., said the difference is the former bar never served food.
“The kitchen is actually Napoli’s Pizza, down the street. We’re going to prepare all of the foods—completely cook them there—and bring them down refrigerated, put them in a commercial refrigerator, and we have a flash bake oven to re-heat them, as necessary,” he explained.
Commission Chairman Joseph C. Edwards called on neighbors to not suffer in silence if there are problems.
“You are to tell all of your neighbors if there are any issues at all—with the parking, with the people, with noise and stuff like that in your neighborhood, you’re to come here and make another complaint to the License Commission. We’ll have him right in,” he promised.
Edwards and Laura Angus voted to approve the license, while Commissioner Patrick J. Driscoll opposed it.