A temporary tent adjacent to PORT Waterfront Bar & Grill in Greenport may become a permanent fixture.
Keith Bavaro, the owner of the Third Street restaurant, went before the Village Planning Board Thursday with the request.
“The awning itself will actually come down and be stored at (Wm. J. Mills & Company Awnings, Custom Canvas & Cushions),” he said. “They come and take it every six months. But the actual framework will be connected to the deck and the building.”
The plan is for the awning to connect to the entrance of the building to make it easier for the restaurant to operate in poor weather.
“Right now, we have the tent set up and we want to attach it to the reverse gable, which takes you in and out of the building,” Mr. Bavaro told the Planning Board. “We won’t be able to do it this season, but for next season, we want to have coverage so that the staff and patrons can come in and out of the building without weather being an issue, as well as for food protection too.”
The restaurant is adjacent to the North Ferry dock and has waterfront views of Greenport Harbor. Proprietors Keith and Ali Bavaro also own SALT Waterfront Bar & Grill on Shelter Island since 2012, and opened the Greenport venue in 2017, in a location that had housed the Chowder Pot Pub for many years.
But the tent might not be the only issue.
Village administrator Paul Pallas said there also may be some building coverage and zoning issues with the property.
“We’re still researching it,” he said, adding that the application before the Planning Board was strictly about the tent awning.
Mr. Pallas told the board that the village had already approved the tent as a temporary structure, so it’s available there now to be examined. The tent is not attached to the building now and can’t be until the approval process is completed. The temporary status allows the tent awning to stand for 180 days before it has to be taken down, including the frame.
“They’ve now decided that they want to leave the frame up, and that’s why we’re here before you. That’s the heart of the issue,” he said.
Mr. Pallas said the other possible zoning issues, which he wasn’t specific about, could require Zoning Board of Appeals approval.
As a result, he advised the Planning Board not to vote to set a public hearing on the tent approval Thursday, as was originally planned.
Thursday’s meeting was what’s known as a “pre-submission conference,” and is usually held prior to a formal public hearing on an application.
Top photo: PORT Waterfront Bar & Grill is hoping to have a permanent connection between this tent and the restaurant. (Credit: Tim Gannon)