Downtown_Uptown Foxboro

A new restaurant is opening downtown.

Riding a wave of enthusiasm for new business opportunities in the downtown area, a local pizza shop owner is seeking to open a separate, full-service restaurant on Central Street.

Selectmen on Tuesday night unanimously approved an all-alcoholic serving license for Sam’s Place, a casual restaurant planned for the small storefront at 34 Central St., formerly occupied by New Life Upholstery.

The license was issued to Sam Bshay Labib, who currently operates the Foxboro House of Pizza at 29 Bird St., and will be managing the new Central Street bistro.

Representing Labib, attorney Jeffrey Lovely said the first-floor restaurant will feature table seating for 40 patrons, plus another 10 bar seats. Hours of operation are envisioned from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Lovely assured selectmen that his client is on solid financial footing, noting that Labib purchased the building and is underwriting ongoing improvements with cash reserves.

Although work already has commenced to remodel the two-story building, Lovely explained that additional permits will be needed before the new establishment can open, most likely by next October.

“We really wanted to start with the all-alcohol license,” Lovely said.

Referring to concerns of a lack of parking in the downtown area, Lovely said that patrons are expected to park in the town-owned lot behind Central Street storefronts.

“We understand that parking is tight,” he said.

Labib was not without his supporters.

Cathy Hickey of Baker Street, who lives near the House of Pizza, encouraged selectmen to award the serving license, calling Labib a worthy recipient.

“He’s been the best neighbor,” Hickey said. “I have no reservations about him running a business with alcohol.”

Donna McIntyre of Margaret Road offered a testimonial of her own.

“Not only is he a reputable and honest businessman, but he gives back to the community,” she said. “His heart is really here in the Town of Foxboro.’

When it opens, Sam’s Place would join several other new and expected restaurants in the town center — including the new Union Straw restaurant on Mechanic Street and the proposed brewpub operated by Shovel Town Brewing as part of the former fire station redevelopment project.

Town Manager William Keegan confirmed the town has two remaining unissued all-alcohol licenses for future use.

Labib, who formerly operated a Westboro restaurant with a full liquor license, thanked selectmen for supporting this new venture.

“I’m lucky,” he said. “I love Foxboro. I know everyone in Foxboro.”

In a related matter, selectmen also approved a change in management for the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews at 201 Patriot Place.

New manager Ashley Wyatt was on hand for the routine license transfer.