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The owner of Puff Cigar Lounge in Salem, New Hampshire, plans to turn part of the site back to a restaurant.

SALEM, N.H. ֱ The owner of a cigar and hookah lounge on Route 28 is looking to revert part of its space back to a restaurant.

Puff Cigar Lounge wants to decrease its size at 357 S. Broadway to include a restaurant with operational hours before the lounge opens at night. The lounge was originally the home of Jocelynֱs Mediterranean Restaurant and Martini Lounge, a popular, family-run business.

But according to Planning Board Director Jacob LaFontaine, a restaurant will return to the property. The new restaurant will be called Beiruti. The planning board will hear owner Richard Sfeirֱs plan at their Nov. 28 meeting.

Kurt Meisner of Meisner Brem Corporation, who represents the applicant, said in a letter to LaFontaine that the proprietor wants to reestablish the long-standing reputation which Jocelynֱs had in the community, ֱadding back one of Salemֱs longstanding favorite establishments.ֱ

Jocelynֱs opened in 2009 at the former site of the Phoenician Restaurant. It served Mediterranean cuisine and specialty cocktails.

This past spring, Sfeir decided to go in a different direction with his business and close the restaurant. He had approached the board for a change-of-use site plan to make it a cigar lounge as he said he saw a demand for this type of establishment grow locally.

Under the change, food could not be served and Sfeir planned to remove all kitchen appliances though a kitchen would remain inside.

The building itself will house three businesses: Hannoush Jewelers, Puff Cigar Lounge and the proposed Beiruti Restaurant.

LaFontaine said the intent is to convert the existing cigar lounge back to a restaurant. The former restaurant space closest to Hannoush Jewelers will become the cigar lounge, he added.

Puff occupies 5,154 square feet. Under the new change-of-use plan, Puff Cigar Loungeֱs size would decrease to 1,831 square feet while Beiruti will take over 3,323 square feet of the current space.

LaFontaine said a conditional use permit for reduced parking will be needed as there are 53 spaces and 78 are required.

Only two of those businesses will be open at the same time on any given day. The business hours will offset each other to combat the parking demand, the planning director said.

Beiruti Restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. while Puff operates from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.. Hannoush Jewelers is open until 6:30 p.m. at the latest.

He added the owner will also enhance the property with landscaping and other modifications under a previously approved site plan agreement.

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