Framingham Selectmen granted the ISLA Restaurant and Lounge all the licenses it needed to start operating.
It was the and this time the applicants appeared to be better prepared to withstand the sharp questioning.
Selectmen were clear they would not tolerate an establishment that would be a repeat of the incident plagued nightclub and bar that the previous tenant ran under the names of That group has filed for bankruptcy.
“I’m looking at this license as a license for a restaurant with other functions,” said Selectman Dennis Giombetti. “I would want you (the managers of ISLA) to make sure that the previous clientele does not return.”
Selectman Jason Smith made his concerns clear, “If we get any notices that this is a nightclub, I will ask that the license be revoked."
The necessary licenses were granted by Selectmen, pending all approvals from the . A restriction was placed on the entertainment license that a live band performing at ISLA was limited to no more than five members.
Selectmen also placed initiated restrictions on the establishment that the basement function room could not be used if a “high risk” performance was occurring elsewhere in the building and the establishment had to close by 1 a.m. every night.
Town Meeting member Jim Rizzoli spoke out against Selectmen granting the licenses to ISLA.
“Once they bring in entertainment, that’s a killer. Nothing has changed. When they have entertainment the same people will return. It’s party time for them," he said
The restaurant, at 672 Waverly St., can seat 630 people for dinner and has function rooms on two levels.
The building was once the home of the popular Union House. The building is still owned by Phil Ottaviani, whose family ran the Union House.
ISLA will be a Caribbean-themed restaurant with entertainment at least four nights a week.
Victor Ortiz, a former Town Meeting member, will manage the restaurant. The assistant manager is Mario Herrera.
Ottaviani, who owns the building, indicated he is comfortable with Ortiz and Herrera running the business. “These guys are on a short leash,” he told the Selectmen in the first hearing before Selectmen.