A famous chef plans to open a restaurant in Moorestown - but only if the townsfolk vote Yes to allow liquor to be sold in this historically dry town.

PREIT, the owner of the Moorestown, Cherry Hill, and other area malls, announced it has a letter of intent from Marc Vetri, the chef and owner of the posh Vetri and Amis restaurants in Philadelphia.

"The ability to bring this type of establishment to Moorestown Mall isn't just a home run; it's a grand slam at the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series," Joe Coradino, PREIT president, said in a press release.

In an earlier interview, Coradino said that he would make the announcement soon, to quell "rumors" from opponents of the Nov. 8 ballot question that the mall will be bringing in restaurants of the Applebees caliber.  PREIT has been promising to bring in "fine dining" restaurants and to pay the town $4 million for liquor licenses if the question passes.

But when Inquirer restaurant columnist Mike Klein talked to Vetri yesterday, the chef said that the restaurant would be a somewhat pared-down version of Osteria - wood-burning pizzas and appetizers. "It's an easy concept," Vetri said.  "We have it nailed.  Read Klein's blog item here:  http://bit.ly/qsRjAY

Vetri went on to say he and his partners are also looking at other locations in the burbs, regardless of the controversial vote in Moorestown.