December 9 2014

Macaroni Grill to Switch to Butcher and Steakhouse

By: Rich Hosford

Romano’s Macaroni Grill at 50 South Avenue will be a steakhouse this time next year. 


The GPD Group, a restaurant group, was at the Planning Board meeting last week and received approval for minor engineering changes to make renovation and update the façade of the building. The applicant, Ray Blanchette, CEO of the Ignite Restaurant Group which owns the Macaroni Grill franchise, said he is planning to convert the restaurant into a new concept called Stockhill. 


Stockhill will be a steakhouse and butcher, Blanchette explained, with a price point similar to Macaroni Grill. Customers will enter into the butcher shop and will choose the meat they wish to eat and have it sent to the kitchen for preparation. Customers will also have the option to purchase butcher shop meats to take home to cook themselves. 


Architect/engineer from the GPD Group Todd Huntington told the board that the new restaurant would not require any site layout changes as the current design provided sufficient space and parking. Stockhill will actually have fewer seats than Macaroni Grill, 276 rather than 316, with 44 outdoor seasonal seats. Huntington said they just needed to do some repainting, refurbishing and put up new signage. 


Blanchette said the new restaurant would likely have three times as many employees as the Macaroni Grill, despite having fewer seats. 

Blanchette said he has long wanted to open a restaurant in Burlington and thought the Macaroni Grill location, which he said already looks like a steakhouse, would be a perfect fit for his new restaurant idea. 


“Burlington is a place, I think, where you launch a concept,” he said. 


The Planning Board unanimously approved the engineering change and welcomed Blanchette to Burlington. 


“I want to welcome you to Burlington,” member Paul Roth said. “I think you picked just the right spot for a recharge. I think you’ll have great success there and I look forward to seeing it happen.” 


Blanchette said he hopes the Stockhill will open in mid-2015. He also said he will keep the Macaroni Grill open for as long as possible, likely until 60 to 90 days before the new restaurant debuts. 

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