The Planning Board this week unanimously approved an amendment to an existing special permit that clears the way for CMT Realty Partnership to convert 4,000 square feet of office space at 213 Burlington Road to a 114-seat restaurant.
The office space is part of a building that also houses other Bedford restaurants: Bamboo, Flatbread, the Melting Pot, and Tashan. A Panera Bread franchise closed several months ago.
While the building currently has a special permit as industrial mixed-use, an amendment to the permit was necessary in order to reallocate the space.
The proposed restaurant will be called Sala, serving a blend of Asian and European tapas alongside modern cocktails. It will occupy the space between The Melting Pot and recently- opened Tashan. Similar to The Melting Pot, Sala will be an evening-only restaurant.
Alex Curran, the main proprietor of the restaurant, spoke about the menu and atmosphere he is looking to create. Ultimately, the restaurant would aim to provide a number of different settings.
While there would be booth seating to the right of the entrance, a large, central, U-shaped bar will add to the “theater,” as Curran put it, of the mixology. The rear of the restaurant will also feature a “speakeasy,” adding to the hospitality of the restaurant and creating a “trendy feel.”
Planning Board Member Jacinda Barbehenn asked where the name for the proposed restaurant comes from. “The name, Sala, is both a Thai fruit and the Spanish word for living room,” Curran said. “I felt that it spoke to the international nature of the restaurant.”
Board Member Amy Lloyd noted that adding a sign near the entrance of the parking lot stating that parking is available in the rear might help with the flow of cars on the property. Kevin Curran, the owner of the property, responded that he would look into adding the signage immediately.