Lounge 59 at 59 Washington St. has taken up residence in the old location of Johnny's Piano Bar. The establishment has been open for just over a month, and the ownership team is already thrilled with the results.
"We're excited to be open in Haverhill," said co-owner Patrick McCarthy. "We love this downtown. Haverhill people love to come out and enjoy themselves."
McCarthy owns the business with Kevin O'Loughlin and Tony Padvaiskas. The three have been friends since they were at Methuen High School. McCarthy and Padvaiskas graduated in 1990.
O'Loughlin was a grade younger.
In addition to their time with the restaurant, the three have other careers. McCarthy does business consulting, O'Loughlin is a teacher at Methuen High School and Padvaiskas owns properties throughout the area.
Despite their strong Methuen ties, the ownership team is eager to become part of the fabric of the downtown Haverhill restaurant district.
"Ideally, we'd love to be a known staple in the community," McCarthy said.
Previously, the trio owned a restaurant, The Keys Grill in North Andover, but when the opportunity arose to invest in a location on Washington Street, just down the street from Haverhill mainstays like George's, Keon's and the Tap, they jumped at the opportunity.
"We get much better foot traffic here," McCarthy said. "Haverhill is a walking town. The mid-weeks are quiet, but the weekends are excellent for foot traffic in this city."
McCarthy, O'Loughlin and Padvaiskas quickly learned that the bevy of eateries on Washington Street have helped business rather than hurt it.
The established businesses bring more people to the area so that everyone in the downtown benefits, McCarthy said.
"The more restaurants the better," he added.
Lounge 59 features live acoustic music on Friday and Saturday nights, an open mic comedy night every other Tuesday with free pita pizzas for guests, and they're working on adding other entertainment on other evenings.
They just want to make sure whatever they add won't bother their neighbors upstairs.
They hope that they will not only thrive in the downtown restaurant district but that they'll add something to the scene as a venue for live acoustic music, unique drinks and homemade desserts.
McCarthy has created 22 homemade liquors such as Irish creme, espresso and coconut rum, and their desserts like the double espresso tiramisu and their Boston cream pie are already turning heads.
The lounge is also open to hosting events and parties, the owners said.