"Even with the liens," says Perrine, whose existing license
for the Main Street restaurant had limited her to sales of beer and
wine, "it saved me tens of thousands of dollars."
Those tens of thousands of dollars would come in handy when,
in turn, the mortgage company suddenly offered to sell the vacant
property to Perrine, whose father had owned another harborfront
eatery, Captain's Courageous.
"It enabled me to self-finance my lifelong dream of one
day owning a restaurant just like this one," says Perrine
of the new Espresso Italian Grille and Pub.
Now, her "bigger, better Espresso" at 116 East Main
St. in East Gloucester has 2,000 more square feet than the 1,200
square feet, leased and quickly outgrown, downtown.
The growth has not come without growing pains. The new restaurant
opened Aug. 11 during the peak of a perfect season, and hungry
sun-seared hordes of beachcombers made a bee-line for the place.
The seating capacity was almost double what the Espresso staff
was used to, and what with one thing and another — like a
new bar menu, not to mention a new 30-seat bar — the number
of meals served instantly quadrupled.
Even with an eventual four-fold staff increase, it was a challenging
time. On two consecutive Saturday nights, the new computer system
crashed. On other evenings, it was the ancient dishwashing machine.
"We bought the place lock, stock and barrel," says
Perrine. “And that included the now-replaced dishwashing
machine, along with a foot of standing water in the basement, both
of which created some unforeseen expenses.
But the Espresso team is not complaining.
"To me, the biggest increase is the opportunity to expand,
fulfill potential," she says. "We can just do so much
more out here."
The next-step includes getting an extension of their premises
permit for outdoor deck dining, and an entertainment license for
"We've already got a Sunday jazz brunch going on a trial
basis permit," she says, and we're hoping to make the place
a regular part of the city's music scene."
There's plenty of room for everything now including plenty of
Joann Mackenzie can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.