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August 02. 2013 11:07PM

Giorgio's restaurant proposes opening Manchester location

MANCHESTER — Giorgio's, featuring Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, has proposed opening a third restaurant at a vacant lot at the corner of Granite and Second streets near Interstate 293.

The restaurant's proposal includes building a nearly 6,000-square-foot restaurant that will resemble its other locations in Milford and Merrimack, architect Bob Clarke, of the Allen and Major engineering and architectural firm, told the city Planning Board during a public hearing Thursday night.

Board members, while saying they believed that the restaurant would be a good fit in the visible location, said they had several concerns about pedestrian safety and traffic patterns.

"There are a lot of loose ends here," board member Eric Kizak said.

The board kept the public hearing open, though board Chairman Robert Campbell said the matter could still be an agenda item for site approval at the board's next regular meeting, saving Giorgio's from having to "go through" months of site plan approval hearings.

Clarke said Giorgio's hopes to begin construction in the fall and be open by the spring.He said the restaurant would have 180 seats, while a function room would have an additional 100 seats.

The restaurant also hopes to use adjacent land, owned by the state Department of Transportation, for a 38-seat patio, Clarke said.

According to the restaurant's website, Giorgio's started as a "small eatery" in 1996. Its first "full" restaurant opened in Merrimack in 2001, and the Milford location was opened five years later.

Also at the meeting, the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority presented its plans for a 20-unit rental housing development to be used by clients of The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester.

The development will be at 168 S. Main St., the current location of the OPUS used goods store, which officials said is moving.

An adjacent condominium development sent a letter to the board, which was read by Campbell, saying it had no opposition to the project.

tbuckland@unionleader.com


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