Two Warren businesses receive liquor, entertainment licensing
Local businessmen Danny and Philip Warren, who are father and son, were granted annual entertainment and alcoholic beverage licenses at the Select Board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6 for their two businesses set to open on Main Street this coming year.
The first business will be located at 176 Main Street. Philip intends for this location to be a retro arcade bar and restaurant, which is also known as a “retrocade.”
The second will be at 59 Main Street. Danny, of Warren’s Harborview LLC, plans to open a marina, restaurant and event space.
Philip will be the manager at both businesses.
The Warrens’ representative, Jon Aieta, said the retrocade will be a full-service restaurant, which will include lunch, dinner and brunch and Sundays.
“It will be a gastropub, which is going to be focused on everything from gourmet burgers to Asian influenced dishes and appetizers,” Aieta said. “It's really a focus on well-executed comfort food paired with craft beers, signature cocktails and the like.”
In addition to having a number of arcade games from 40 to 50 years ago, Philip wants to host other entertainment in the space as well, according to Aieta. However, the focus will be on the food.
Philip said he is still new to the restaurant business, having previously worked in industrial coding.
“I was ready for a career change,” he said, adding how he had visited a few retrocades that peaked his interest.
“I saw the potential there to kind of do what I loved, especially during Covid, which is when I first started brewing on this idea,” Philip said. “Me and my wife were stuck in the house and we found that we both really wanted to go to an arcade, which is something that we hadn't done since we were teenagers.”
He added how his 6-year-old son grew up during the Covid pandemic and as a result struggles with social anxiety: “One of the first things that ever got him to not be afraid of the public was an arcade.”
Philip said the restaurant can expect to create 15 to 20 jobs, for which he plans to hire locally. Of those jobs, 75% will be full time. The business is set to open early to mid-summer.
Select Board member Jared Chadwick said, “When I saw that you were opening something like that up here, my kids and I were jumping for joy. So I'm extremely happy to see this is happening in this town, and I'm extremely happy to see it down on Main Street, where we need a lot of help down there.”
Construction of the Warrens’ marina began back in November 2022 after initial plans for the business were proposed in March 2021. Almost three years later, Aieta said he believes it will be ready to open this spring.
“It is very far along in the process and it's an absolutely beautiful building,” Aieta said. “I think many people are very excited to partake in this and to be a patron of this restaurant.”
The business is set up to be a more traditional sit down, “upscale” restaurant with an additional focus on event and function space, according to Aieta. Although the main focus is on the dining services, entertainment will be available on occasion, including opportunities to host celebrations such as weddings.
Philip said, “This is a beautiful building. If you haven't had an opportunity to see it. I can't wait till you do.”
Jack Teixeira, who has been a chef for over 30 years, will be the executive chef for both the retrocade and marina.
Having Teixeira there, Philip said the building has become “special” to his family.
He explained how Teixeira and Danny are both Wareham natives who worked together at a small restaurant in the 1980s.
“It's very exciting that they went off and had full careers and they've come back together and they have this opportunity to do this restaurant together and that I can help manage it,” Philip said.
Aieta said the business intends to address the public need for the revitalization of downtown Wareham and to promote its economic stimulus.
Select Board member Ronald Besse thanked the Warrens for their work, adding how it has not been a “cakewalk.”
Besse emphasized the commitment of the Warrens in helping the town revitalize Main Street.
“I want to thank them for their time, efforts and energies and we're really excited to see how Main Street comes together,” Besse said. “This is definitely probably going to be the staple of what Main Street looks like and I'm just very excited to see them get open and really start to be much bigger contributors to the community with everything that goes on down there.”
Select Board Chair Judith Whiteside also thanked the Warrens, emphasizing how much their family has contributed to the town even outside of their businesses.
For example, Whiteside said along with others, the family contributed “greatly” to the luncheon held after the Veterans Day Parade earlier this year: “The meal was spectacular and I thank you, Mr. Danny Warren for that.”