Owner of Teresa's Italian Eatery in Middleton Nick Yebba, Sr. is taking over the restaurant and function facility at the . The transfer of the liquor license was approved at Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting, and Yebba plans to make some major changes to the club.
Teresa’s Prime and Function Facilities at the Thomson Country Club was the title on two photos Yebba and his attorney Scott Ford presented at the meeting Monday. The photos showed the outside of the club and the inside of the function room.
Yebba is "seeking to maintain the same level of service” that the club had before, according to his attorney. He will transform the restaurant into a steak house called Theresa’s Prime, which Yebba referred to as a "high end, moderately priced restaurant."
"It will feel comfortable and plush, but there will be no $10 potatoes,” he said.
The restaurant will be open four or five days a week for dinner.
There will also be a Grill 19, which will serve lighter fare than the steak house, in the grill room in the basement adjacent to the pool. Grill 19 will be open daily. The function facility will remain for weddings and showers, etc. However, the ballroom will have a softer tone, Yebba said. The ceilings and walls have been stripped, the floors redone and new chandeliers will be installed.
Yebba purchased parts of the club for $2.2 million and is doing $3 million in renovations, he said.
The facility will close at the end of October, and if everything goes according to plan, the septic system repairs, paperwork, design work and renovations, they are shooting to open again in March or April, Yebba said.
The pool, driving range and tennis court are staying, he said. They will have a private membership for the pool club and tennis courts. He is considering offering food by the pool, but has not made a final decision on that yet.
"I want this to be special for the community and the people that come into it," he said.
Selectman Steve O'Leary asked if anything would change outside. Yebba said that landscape lighting would be the only thing that would change. O'Leary also asked about a designated smoking area. Yebba said they would have to designate a spot for smokers as they would have to be far enough away from the building.
Residents attended the meeting and several voiced concerns about the changes. One resident mentioned that he had invested in a fence and trees because of the noise problem at the club. When people are outside at the pavilion the resident was able to hear them from his home until late in the evening, he said. The resident mentioned that the old management would not compromise with him to end parties at an earlier time, but the new manager had agreed to end functions at 9 p.m. The resident asked that Yebba agree to a 9 p.m. end time as well. Yebba did not feel comfortable putting a 9 p.m. restriction time on events. He did agree to the revisit the restriction idea if any of the neighbors had an issue with his events.
The same resident raised the concern of the dumpster pick up, which happens at 4 a.m. every Friday. Yebba said he would change the time of the trash pick up.
The photo that Yebba had on display showed two towers with what he called a "halo" light shining into the sky. Residents were concerned about that and the amount of light they would see coming from the club. Yebba assured the residents that the light was overemphasized in the photo and that it would not be so bright.
Increased traffic and signage were other concerns brought up at the meeting.
A member of the Thomson board reminded the neighbors during the meeting that the club had recently lost around 200 members, and if they had not completed this deal with Yebba the club would not have survived.
Selectman Bob Mauceri said that this was the first time he had ever heard a business owner be so accommodating and commended Yebba for that.
"I personally am in support of this,” Mauceri said.
He was unsure of whether the board should implement any restrictions right away.
Selectman Mike Prisco suggested that Yebba have his restaurant manager reach out to the abutters and provide contact information should they have an issue.
In response, Yebba said that he is always on site if there is a problem, and that residents can contact him directly.
The liquor license transfer passed unanimously.