, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 13, 2013

New businesses blossom in Port this spring

NEWBURYPORT — One characteristic aspired to by most municipalities is the capability to fill storefronts, and close to a half-dozen venues haven recently received new tenants — without creating vacancies.

Moving into new digs are a new beauty boutique on Liberty Street and a specialty hamburger restaurant on State Street.

In addition, veteran entrepreneur Richard Simkins, owner of the Grog restaurant, will soon welcome a new enterprise in a storefront he owns on Middle Street.

At 18 Liberty St., Marie Santos recently opened the Essencia Beauty Lounge. It calls itself a “salon, spa, boutique” and offers clothes, beauty services and its own line of beauty products.

“I have a store in Amesbury, and we carry a great line of products,” said Santos. “I have been in the beauty business for 18 years, and I am excited to be expanding here.”

At 88 State St., a hamburger restaurant will move into the space until recently occupied by Taffy’s, which went out of business.

The eatery will be operated by K.C. Cargill, a Newburyport resident who runs Lexie’s Joint in Portsmouth.

The name of the new restaurant has not been finalized, but Cargill said it might be “Lexie’s on State.”

“We are opening another restaurant in Newington (N.H.), so we might not open Newburyport until September,” said Cargill. “For hours of operation, we’re looking at maybe 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Our burgers are a little smaller, about 4 ounces, so people don’t leave stuffed. We’re looking forward to Newburyport.”

Simkins said he has found a tenant for a small store adjacent to the Grog, 7 Middle St. The space formerly housed a used-book store.

The venue will be a retail operation called R.R. Traders, but Simkins declined to specify what kind of goods will be sold. “It will be a surprise until about June 1,” he said.

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