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Ex-Grub Street will turn sporty

Pub-themed restaurant to open in August

Medford's former Grub Street Grill is about to become O'Connor's Sports Grill.

The Central Avenue restaurant, closed since last year, has been purchased by Brian Edwards and Kevin Wells, owners of Scandals, the nude-dancing club formerly known as Le Dolls.

The purchase closed this week, and Edwards said Wednesday that he expects the restaurant to open in August.

It will have an Irish sports pub theme and target the business crowd at lunch and families at dinner. Edwards said he wants it to be a fun place that can compete with chain restaurants such as Red Robin and Applebee's.

We're going to cater very heavily toward the lunch trade, Edwards said. Downtown Medford needs a good-quality, upbeat, service-oriented restaurant.

The restaurant is named after Edwards and Wells' corporate attorney, Bill O'Connor.

He's got a really rich family history, Edwards said of O'Connor, who couldn't be reached for comment.

Edwards plans to apply for a full liquor license but still run a family-oriented restaurant. He said it will seat 140 people and feature 10 to 15 large televisions.

Edwards said he has been involved with a number of restaurants and that he and Wells wanted to open one in Medford. They considered the Medford Depot, which closed this month because of financial troubles. Edwards said the duo may still be interested in the Depot down the road.

The completion of a nearby parking garage was a major factor in the decision, Edwards said.

That made the restaurant feasible, he said.

Ironically, the restaurant's last owner, Evan McArthur, cited lost business during garage construction last year as one of the reasons he had to close.

Edwards said the restaurant will be in no way affiliated with Scandals. Edwards and Wells formed a separate corporation, Titan Enterprises, for the restaurant; Bicmar Corp. operates Scandals.

I don't want to associate an adult business with a family-oriented one, said Edwards.

Asked if he was worried that some may not support the restaurant because of the strip club, Edwards said he thinks the majority of people won't be bothered.

I'm sure there are some people, he said. But I think most people are not close-minded to that level.