A new restaurant is coming to the Bertucci’s site at 768 Bridgeport Ave.

An undisclosed restaurant entity has received permission to build an outdoor patio and redesign the inside of the 5,700-square-foot building.

The applicant is Franbard Shelton LLC, the local business that owns the 4.35-acre site that also includes a gym and dialysis clinic. Approval was granted at a recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to modify the old Bertucci’s site plan and allow a new occupant.

Peter Francini of Franbard Shelton LLC said a lease with the new tenant should be signed soon. The prospective occupant appears to be a restaurant with an existing establishment in the region, and is described in the application as “a sit-down restaurant and take-out” operation. Bertucci’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year and closed a number of locations, including the Shelton one.

Architect Joseph Gluse, representing the new tenant, told the P&Z the patio would be accessed from the inside of the restaurant as well as a gated entrance from the parking lot. The patio would seat about 50 people, Gluse said.

The interior bar would be expanded with additional seating. The number of overall interior seats should remain the same and live music might be offered inside the restaurant.

Gluse didn’t give any clues to the restaurant’s identity when asked what kind of food would be served.

“The best food in town,” he responded to chuckles from P&Z members.

Francini said Bertucci’s once had an outdoor patio but it was eliminated to add space for interior seating. He said some minor improvements recently have been made to the building’s exterior, including a new paint color, and the new tenant would want to put up signs and possibly awnings. The restaurant has 78 dedicated parking spaces in the 187-space lot that also serves the two other tenants.
Downtown tacoria
The P&Z has approved a new restaurant with a patio at 50 Bridge St., the large new structure with ground-floor retail and upper-floor apartments between Howe Avenue and West Canal Street.

The concept is for a tacoria-style restaurant that would serve liquor, although it’s unlikely the establishment would open until sometime in 2019. The applicant is now pursuing a liquor license, has yet to sign a lease for the space and indicated the restaurant’s specifics aren’t finalized.

P&Z members said they would want china or reusable hard plastic dining ware used on the patio to limit paper and plastic litter downtown. Public parking would be available on the street and in nearby public lots.