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February 5, 2013

Blackburn park gets a new eatery

A Rockport resident and former Realtor has opened a new Gloucester restaurant, returning a breakfast-and-lunch eatery to the city’s Blackburn Industrial Park.

Paul F. Franklin has opened Wally’s Blackburn Bistro, located at 10 Blackburn Center, in the heart of the park and in space formerly occupied by Cassic Cooks Catering.

While the Blackburn Industrial park includes food- and beverage-related businesses, it has not had a sit-down food shop since Classic Cooks Catering moved out last year. The industrial park is home to some of Gloucester’s largest employers, including Varian Semiconductors/Applied Materials and Gloucester Engineering.

Wally’s Blackburn Bistro, which held its official opening Monday in space formerly occupied by Classic Cooks, is a cafe and sandwich shop serving coffee, pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches and more, said Franklin, who also previously worked at a number of restaurants in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

In addition to ethically-sourced coffees roasted weekly by Beverly’s Atomic Cafe, Franklin — whose diverse background includes several years in restaurants on Cape Ann and in the Mount Washington Valley — Wally’s will prepare fresh pastries and breakfast sandwiches on demand each morning.

Lunch is served on Franklin’s own rustic breads, which are baked fresh daily. Opting away from the traditional Cape Ann sub shop, Wally’s Blackburn Bistro has sworn off deli meats and serves house-prepared meats such as oven-roasted turkey breast, applewood-smoked carving ham and corned beef brisket in its sandwiches.

The bistro is owned by Waltz Piez LLC — a partnership between Franklin; his mother, Rockport native Claire M. (Toppan) Franklin; and his wife, Gloucester High School graduate Danika M. (LePage) Franklin.

The company is named in honor of Walter R. “Wally” Franklin Sr., whom the family lost to cancer in January 2012. Originally from Reading, Wally called Rockport home for close to 30 years; it’s where he began his long career as a patrolman and where he met Claire.

Wally’s Blackburn Bistro is now open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit www.BlackburnBistro.com or www.facebook.com/BlackburnBistro, or follow the bistro on Twitter at @BlackburnBistro.

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