The liquor license freed up when the doors shut on Daniella’s Track Side Grille last year may stay close by, after its low-price purchase at an auction Wednesday morning.
The restaurant and liquor license were seized by the State Division of Taxation last October for $40,000 in unpaid sales taxes. After attempts by the owner to sell the property, which had been listed at $599,900, the state sold the license in a public auction Wednesday.
Bidding began at $50,000 in a conference room at the division’s Fair Lawn office, and within minutes the bids inched along in hundred dollar increments—for a license that typically runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars on the private market.
“It was a good deal,” said Bob Piccoli, who paid $67,500 for the license, outdoing the three other bidders. There is currently one other Fair Lawn license on the private market.
Piccoli, who previously owned Pub 17 in Ramsey, will be opening a new restaurant in Fair Lawn. His goal is to announce a grand opening in two to three months.
“The hope is to get a lease in the very near future and get our renovations together to go before the planning board. It’s a process to opening a restaurant,” he told Patch, adding that acquiring the liquor license was the first step.
Ideally, he would like to open at the location vacated by the Track Side Grille, and is in talks with the landlord to obtain a lease. "We're going to try and work out a deal with the landlord and stay in the same spot," he said.
This had been in his intention since the license became available, and had been in contact with them even before the auction.
“It’s a great location, and the hope is to open a family style bar and restaurant, and cater to people coming off the train,” he added.