CHELMSFORD — A new restaurant is coming to town, and with it, the closure of a town staple is gone.
Mike Lenzi, owner of Lenzi’s in Dracut, purchased the well-known Glenview Pub and Grill in August and plans to remodel and re-open a new restaurant on the corner of Princeton Street and Walter G. Wiede Street this winter.
The change comes after previous owners of the Glenview, Stephanie Sampsonis and The Right Corp., allegedly left the once popular restaurant in poor condition: dimly lit, beat-up bathrooms and even some insects crawling around. Crushed beer cans and bottle caps can still be seen in the parking lot. Broken chairs and booths can be seen on the backside of the building.
The lights are still on inside.
According to previous Sun reporting, Sampsonis owed $347,771 and The Right Corp. owes $412,428 in back meals taxes to the state.
“People are sad to see (the Glenview) close, however, Lenzi’s is a great landmark in Dracut and to bring that to Chelmsford is huge,” Building Commissioner Shaun Shanahan said.
Shanahan, who did one of the final inspections for the Glenview, said the former restaurant “looked like something out of a Chevy Chase film” — torn up doors, beat-up booths and bathrooms that “had some mileage.”
“It just looked dated,” Shanahan said. “It looked like nothing had changed since my 8th grade graduation.”
Lenzi said the new restaurant will be brightened up and will have a new kitchen. He also said the kitchen was “not functional” and a new roof would be needed before it can be opened to the public.
The owner is expected to come before the Planning Board by the end of the month to propose and finalize his plans, though he said there is still “a lot of moving parts.”
He has yet to finalize a name for the restaurant, although, “Lenzi’s Glenview” was reported by The Sun in June when Lenzi and his attorney, Karen Bolton, appeared before the board to obtain a transfer of licenses from The Right Corp.
In June, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the license transfers after hearing input from only one resident, former Harrington Wine & Liquors owner John Harrington, who spoke in favor of immediate approval.
Harrington said during the public meeting that the old restaurant, which was once owned by former Selectmen Paul Hart from 1986 to 1996, “needs definitely a lot of work.”
Shanahan said construction on the building — which would be cheaper to tear down and rebuild than renovate — could break ground by mid-winter.
“In it’s heyday, it was a hot spot,” Lenzi said. “Not gonna be a high-end spot. It’s gonna be a nice pub and grill still.”
Luke O’Roark on Twitter: @LukeORoark