Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brazilian BBQ Restaurant to Open in February

By Christina Georgiou

Ana and Antonio DeMattos, accompanied by business
consultant Howard Lieberman, smile outside city
council chambers after getting city approval of their
economic development liquor license application for
their new restaurant, Batuque, which is set to open next month.

Add one more cultural culinary choice to the amazingly diverse array of offerings Easton's Downtown eateries has to offer, beginning next month.

Easton City Council Wednesday evening unanimously gave its approval for an economic development liquor license application for Batuque, which will offer Brazilian cuisine  at 154 Northampton St., the former location of Phoenicia.

The new restaurant will open in advance of its anticipated Liquor Control Board approval of the application, said co-owners Antonio and Ana DeMattos.

Representing the owners, business consultant Howard Lieberman, said he expects the PLCB will finalize the restaurant's license in 60 to 90 days.

While awaiting approval, the new restaurant will at first either be a BYOB or offter a complimentary glass of wine to patrons over 21 with their meals, as is allowed by state law.

The economic development liquor license will be tied to both the property and the restaurant owners, Lieberman noted. Only two per year can be issued in Northampton County, he added.

The restaurant seems likely to be a sure hit--the DeMattoses, along with business partner Joaon Roquetti, already own two other successful, popular eateries, Rios in Nazareth and Made in Brazil in Allentown.

Batuque will offer similar authentic Brazilian fare, said Ana DeMattos.

Lieberman said Easton's location, as well as it's vibrant culinary scene, is part of what attracted his clients to open another restaurant in the city. He added he expects due to the city's proximity to New Jersey will attract some patrons from as far as 50 to 60 miles away.

City council members said they welcome having yet another choice and a number said they plan on dining there when Batuque opens.

"I'm very excited about this. I've been to the restaurant in Nazareth two times, and I'm looking forward to going to the one here," said Councilwoman Sandra Vulcano.

"I want to thank you so much for deciding this is the place you want to invest in," added Councilman Jeff Warren.

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