Sonny’s abutters hear plans for sale, new eatery on site

SONNYS: Richard Elia, left, and his son Matthew are shown outside Sonny’s in Adams Village. Bill Forry photoSONNYS: Richard Elia, left, and his son Matthew are shown outside Sonny’s in Adams Village. Bill Forry photo

If everything goes as planned over the next few month, Sonny’s Pub and Restaurant, a longtime fixture in Adams Village owned by the late Sonny Elia and his family, will, after a thorough renovation, re-emerge in the spring as “Industry,” an eatery that would serve American comfort food and be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with a 1 a.m. closing time.

That was the news that the prospective new owners, David Arrowsmith and Martin Davis, delivered to abutters Tuesday night at a meeting at Sonny’s that was organized by Boston’s Office of Neighborhood Services and Mayor Martin Walsh’s office.

“We’re planning to renovate every square inch,” Arrowsmith told the gathering.

Designs for the new look include installing a new façade, putting in a glass front door and new windows along the front of the premises, and setting up a sliding wall between the bar and dining area for small private parties.

Souza Design Architects, a prominent Boston design firm responsible for many of the newer establishments that have transformed the city’s Seaport District, created the proposed floor plan, according to the buyers’ attorney, Carolyn Conway.

Still, there are things that need doing before “Industry” opens its doors, said current owner Richard Elia. “It’s all contingent on the potential buyers getting financing,” he said Tuesday night. “It’s not sold. It’s all potential.” Elia added that Arrowsmith and Davis are supposed to have a signed letter of commitment to him by Nov. 15 before any renovation can begin.

In the meantime, Arrowsmith and Davis will go before the city’s Licensing and Entertainment Board this week to get approval for the transfer of the liquor license. They plan to hold another meeting with abutters once the sale is closed. Construction would begin in mid-December and take four to five months, with an anticipated open date in late spring.

Attorney Conway stressed that besides the floor-to-ceiling redesign, not much else would change at Sonny’s. Capacity would stay at 147 seats, and the new owners are not seeking an entertainment license (athough Sonny’s busy Keno business would likely not be a feature of the new establishment).

This will be the first venture for the potential buyers, although, Conway said, their combined experience fits together “like a hand and a glove.” Arrowsmith has clocked ten years in the construction business at the Boston-based contractor Capital Construction and Davis has managed Boston’s Blackthorn Pub and The Littlest Bar. “It’s indicative of how serious they are; they’re buying the building and making a huge investment,” she said.

At the meeting, Arrowsmith stressed that he and Davis are aware of and comfortable with other changes planned for Adams Village – including Sam Mavericks, which will be setting up shop in the old Hollywood Video building and has a similar concept to their proposed establishment.

He said the partnership is just looking to add value to the neighborhood. “Everyone seems happy here today,” he said. “It’s going to be a good venture for us and I think it’ll be good for the neighborhood.”

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