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556 Adams St., Milton
556 Adams St., Milton
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A long-vacant theater in Milton will become an Italian restaurant. A new venture from the team behind modern American tavern Abby Park, Novara, will open in the former Milton Cinema this fall, Zagat reports.

Tony DeRienzo, chef at Abby Park, is leading the new venture. In an interview with the Boston Globe a couple weeks ago, DeRienzo described his upbringing in the kitchen with his "old school" Italian mother. "I grew up in Brockton and started cooking with her at 6. Our basement was always loaded with tomatoes; she’d make her own sauce and bottle it for the year. She also made her own prosciutto authentically, in old wine barrels packed with salt and dried for months," he said.

As far as what to expect at Novara, named for a Italian city in the northwestern Piedmont region, the fare will be modern takes on Northern Italian cuisine, and there will be a large wine list. In 2009, Abby Park, located a few doors down from the future Novara, was the town's first restaurant to be granted a full liquor license since the 1800s.

A family-owned real estate firm purchased the former Milton Cinema building last summer and started the process of securing a liquor license in hopes of bringing in a restaurant, the Patriot Ledger reported last year. "It would help revitalize [East Milton Square]," said Jeanne Schmidt of the Falconi Companies. "And it would be good for other restaurants there."

The space at 556 Adams St. has been vacant since 2007, when a fire tore through its roof. A storefront cafe shuttered then; at the time, the cavernous theater space in the back was being used to house tires, the newspaper noted. It was a performance venue, the State Theater, many decades ago, and it was the second-run Milton Cinema until 1987.

As a restaurant, the 5,500-square foot space will have loft-like ceilings, a large bar, and patio seating, Zagat reports. Boston Restaurant Talk previously noted the owners sought seating for 160 guests. Designer Steve Todisco said his vision for Novara is to "nod to the theatrical landmark" and create something "reminiscent of its European namesake."

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