Restaurant plans fall through at former bait shop

04/12/2011 1:40 PM |


There won’t be a waterfront restaurant at the former White’s Bait Shop in Greenport this summer. After several months of Planning Board meetings, which finally resulted in approval for the operation last month, principal Richard Webley withdrew his application last week.

According to village administrator David Abatelli, it appears there was a breakdown in lease negotiations between Mr. Webley and property owner Cheryl Inzerillo, even though Ms. Inzerillo had appeared at the various meetings to support Mr. Webley’s application.

Neither Ms. Inzerillo nor Mr. Webley could be reached for comment. Pat Moore, Mr. Webley’s attorney, declined to pass on to her client a request for a comment.

Mr. Webley and his business partners — his wife, Lucy, and Erin Fitzpatrick — had planned to establish an eatery at the site with both indoor and outdoor dining. They finally won approval in March, after a couple of months of meetings at which Planning Board members and neighbors raised several concerns.

Last summer, Ms. Inzerillo sold bait and fishing equipment from the shop. She ran into some problems when the planners found she was also carrying T-shirts and other items beyond her approved retail use. She eventually gained permission to sell those items and had been expected to resume business this summer. Instead, she and Mr. Webley appeared before the board this winter to promote the restaurant idea.

The restaurant approval was granted with the proviso that it would apply only to the current applicants — not to anyone else who might want to operate a restaurant on the site. That means Ms. Inzerillo would have to return to the Planning Board should she opt to operate or lease the former bait shop for any other use.

Planning Board member Jack Reardon called the withdrawal “unfortunate.”

In other business, board members approved signage for Mr. Robert’s convenience store and gas station. Still pending with the Zoning Board of Appeals is an application for a canopy over the gasoline island.

Joe Nelson of Harbor Pets got the go-ahead to move his business from 10 to 25 Front Street, where he will have space to expand his business to include pet grooming services. Because the new venue is on the south side of Front Street in the waterfront commercial district, permission for a conditional use was required.

Similarly, Metal Monk, a jewelry store operating at 110 Front St., needs a conditional use permit to relocate to 15 Front St. A public hearing on that application is set for April 28.

A hearing is also slated on April 28 for Dale Suter of Vintage Vault, who wants to open an antique store at 125 Main St.

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