Selectmen approve license transfer for former Celtic Tavern

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Northborough-large-web-iconNorthborough – Nearly eight months after a fire abruptly closed the Celtic Tavern, the Route 9 restaurant and bar is trading its shamrock for a sombrero.

Selectmen Jan. 27 approved a liquor license transfer from the Celtic Tavern to Los Cuates, Inc., which plans to open Casa Vallarta at the 45 Belmont St. location in mid-March.

Attorney Scott Nathan told selectmen the restaurant will be owned by a family that operates several others in the state and will be managed by Yadida Gutierrez. The same company operates a restaurant in Franklin, Nathan said, that has become “a pillar of downtown” in recent years.

“They’ve been a great asset to the community and will quickly become one to yours,” he said.

Although the all-alcohol license allows for a 2 a.m. closing, Nathan said the restaurant would be open no later than 11 p.m. on weekends. “It's going to be a decidedly family atmosphere,” he said.

Selectman William Pantasiz said he was relieved to see the high-visibility property put back to use. “It's been vacant for a while,” he said.

The restaurant did not reopen after the fire last summer that the Northborough Fire Department said caused an estimated $50,000 worth of damage.

The board voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the liquor license as well as entertainment and common victualer's licenses.

The new owners are targeting March 14 for an opening date, Nathan said.