Planning Board: Little response to proposed Greenport restaurant

02/07/2011 2:42 PM |
White's Bait Shop in Greenport

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | A restaurant is proposed for where White's Bait Shop now stands in Greenport.

The restaurant proposed for the former White’s Bait Shop just off Bootleg Alley on the Greenport waterfront drew only two comments — one pro and one con — during a recent public hearing before the Planning Board.

Residents Wayne and Patricia Baylis of Fifth Street sent an e-mail supporting applicant Richard Webley’s plan to open what he calls a “dockside eatery.” But restaurateur Perry Angelson, who owns Harbourfront Deli and The Loft on Front Street, appeared in person to tell the board he doubted the viability of a new restaurant in the village. He also expressed concern about possible litter problems and how the restaurant would impact tenants in apartments he owns that are entered from on Bootleg Alley.

“Since Ralph’s Ices has been there, Bootleg Alley has been a disaster,” Mr. Angelson said. People litter, he said, leaving it to Mr. Angelson and his tenants to clean up.

Mr. Webley, who is proposing seating for 36 people inside and outside the shop, said staff will ensure that littering by sit-down patrons is prevented. Takeout food sold to boaters, he added, will be served in baskets, with real silverware. Patrons would pay a deposit to be refunded when they return the empty baskets and cutlery.

Mr. Webley plans to open in early May and close in late October or November. And while his business plan doesn’t currently provide for it, Mr. Webley said he was open to exploring operating during winter months, serving hot soups and a limited menu.
Planning Board members said they want to encourage more businesses that will operate year-round, rather than seasonally.
“I think the last thing this village needs is another restaurant,” Mr. Angelson said. He warned Mr. Webley that it was very difficult to operate profitably year-round in Greenport.

The board will continue discussion of the application for site plan and conditional use approval at a Feb. 24 work session and could vote on it in early March.

As expected, the Planning Board rejected the site plan for Mr. Robert’s convenience store on the northwest corner of Front and Third streets because it calls for a canopy over the gasoline pumps and signage that doesn’t meet village code. Owner Ali Sahin plans to apply for zoning variances. If he gets them, he’ll find himself back at the Planning Board for site plan approval.

Layyah convenience store at Front and Fourth streets got Planning Board approval for the business operation on the first floor only. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week — something the board cannot limit despite community objections. If the owners decide to make use of the second floor, however, they will have to submit a new application to the planners. And if the owners want to sell beer — another concern expressed by neighbors — they would need approval from the State Liquor Authority.

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12 Comment

  • I knew Pete through business. RIP Pete.

  • Isn’t it a little odd that the guy who has everything will do whatever he can to keep the guy who has nothing from getting any?

  • Greed and self-centeredness is a dangerous combination. Sad, isn’t it?

  • As an owner of a breakfast/lunch/cupcake spot in Greenport (butta’ cakes) I must say good luck to this group. However I resent the fact they are trying to open just for summer months. As a year round business we bust our tails to make it through the winter months for the “glory” of the summer months… and to have a shop come in that will sell the same product as 5 others in town (that stay open year around) is a smack in the face to myself, Perry (harberfront, Coronet), Bruce (cheese emporium), Fred (sterlington) and Greenport Heights Deli. There is a multitude of ideas that could go in that space. And be successful. But if you think they really want to stay open in the colder months that is questionable. My apartment overlooks this location and i can count on one hand the amount of foot traffic that crosses behind bootleg ally for 7 months of the year.

    For those that wish to bash Perry, he was my first boss. He worked his tail off to get where he is. As i am trying to do now for Butta’ Cakes. It is not an easy way of life. But when it works out it is (i hope…lol) very rewarding.

    The group planning to open this shop should sit down and figure out what the town needs. Not what it doesn’t need more of. I looked at the space and in reality there is no way you will be able to install a SCHD regulated kitchen, grease trap and the likes to be able to offer food that can compete with the above named establishments. 36 seats? I just don’t see how that is possible unless they are all outside.

    If your plan is to steal summer business from “us” then shame on you. If you are planning to be open all year and help greenport become even greater… then good luck.

    People that aren’t in the biz may comment negatively to this post, but you have to understand that competition is great, until there is too much. Then there isn’t enough sand in the sand box for us all to play. So we all end up going away…. And Greenport has more for rent signs in town…

    I have some ideas for that location if the owners would like to hear them just give me a call at the shop. Not that they are earth shattering. lol

    Thanks and whichever way you go, i truly hope you are original in your endeavor.

    Butta’ Cakes Cafe & Cupcake Shop
    (serving Breakfast, Lunch & Fondue year round and only about 100 steps from where you plan to open) ; )

  • I forgot about the Market. A great b/l spot spot that ADDS to the town.

  • God I love your cupcakes. Seriously.
    It sounded like a ridiculous idea, as I am sure you have thought and heard, but man, it’s spectacular, and I hope it so works out for you, really. Your cupcakes are so good that the only thing you could possibly do to make them better is serve them with a large side of bacon, and 2 pints of Greenport Disoriented IPA.

    Nuff Ced.

  • Here we go again – boards basing all public sentiment on the few people who can show up in the middle of winter when there’s two feet of snow on the ground. That’s when all unpopular resolutions get voted on around here. I visit Greenport a lot and I can tell you I agree wholeheartedly with Marc. Put in businesses that fill a need for the public, and put them where they belong.

  • lol. thanks larry. We will be serving there beer once our beer and wine comes through. Cant wait!

  • MMmmmmmmm Bacon Cupcakes. You might have hit upon something there. Marc?

  • The bait shop was appropriately located.
    A “dockside eatery” would detract from the area.

    Who is applicant Richard Webley? Does he own the property?

    Despite the lack of comments at the public hearing before the Planning Board I am sure there are many Greenporters who have plenty of opinions to share about how the Bait Shop could be developed.

    If the applicant is unwilling to listen to the community, the Village should impose a moratorium on waterfront commercial developments to develop and enact a waterfront commercial zone requiring waterfront properties to explain how their businesses will fit the location.

  • Benja for Supervisor!

  • What do the group think would be a good use for such a unique space? All of these posts are negative but don’t suggest an alternative? Surely if someone wants to invest in improving the space then it is a positive sign that the town is developing?