January 31, 2019

Plans nixed for 1920s-themed restaurant at Hanover Theater

PHOTO/GRANT WELKER
The Hanover Theater is looking for a new restaurant operator to open an eatery.

Josephine, a 1920s-themed restaurant planned for the Hanover Theater, will not open in the space.

The theater in November 2017 announced plans for the restaurant to open in the stretch of downtown after the theater expanded into a Main Street building.

At the time, the restaurant was planning to open in the spring.

When reached by phone, Hanover Theater President and CEO Troy Siebels said the theater learned last month that Josephine would not be opening.

"We were frustrated that it took so long to figure that out," he said.

The space eyed for a restaurant is not built out for that use, and that may have been an issue for the owner of Josephine, Chris Rassias, who also owns the the Fairmount Grille in Boston.

Rassias could not immediately be reached for comment by WBJ.

However, there is already interest from other operators, and two restaurateurs viewed the space on Thursday, Siebels said.

When the restaurant was announced at the theater's annual meeting, City Manager Edward Augustus called the restaurant a big step in re-imagining downtown.

The restaurant was planned in a formerly vacant storefront building the theater bought in 2014. The expansion was completed halfway through 2016.

"We strongly feel that having a restaurant down there that's symbiotic will contribute a great deal," Siebels told an audience of several dozen at the annual meeting. "It has taken a lot to bring that together."

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