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Village Planning Board discusses cheese shop, Port Bar and Grill applications

The owner of a Mattituck cheese shop who plans to expand his business into Greenport will need to submit more information to the Planning Board before it formally accept his application.

Michael Affatato of the Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane plans to open on Front Street in Greenport.

He is hoping to bring his specialty cheeses — which include everything from cheddar made by Missouri Mennonites to lactose-free Lithuanian cheese — to the new 3,200-square-foot spot by June.

His proposal calls for the retail sale of cheese and packaged goods, as well as a wine bar with food service, according to the application.

“It’s based on the model I have on Love Lane,” he told the Village Planning Board last Thursday.

Village planners said that because his proposal specifies occupancy by 45 people, Mr. Affatato will need to provide two bathrooms that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. That bathroom requirement is triggered by occupancies of more than 15, officials said.

Mr. Affatato described that as a costly requirement and said he believes it will take up a lot of space. Planners rejected his request that they require only one ADA-complaint bathroom.

“We don’t have the authority to do that,” board member John Cotugno said, noting that the requirement is mandated by state law.

Planning Board consultant Glynis Berry added: “My overall impression is that you’ve proposed way too much in too little space. It’s just really intense for this space.”

Building inspector Eileen Wingate said the proposal won’t be defined as a restaurant because no cooking will take place there and most of the food is designated as a “shelf product.”

Mr. McMahon suggested that Mr. Affatato meet with the village planning department and village attorney Joe Prokop in order to “find out what would work in this space and what wouldn’t.”

“There seems to be a lot going on here,” he said.

Mr. Affatato added he plans to live in the apartment above the proposed cheese shop.

Port Bar and Grill

The Planning Board is expected to vote Thursday on a restaurant application for the former Blue Canoe building.

Keith and Alison Bavaro, owners of SALT on Shelter Island, plan to open Port Bar and Grill at the Third Street site, with about 35 indoor seats and an 155 outdoor seats.

Following a brief discussion of their proposal at last Thursday’s meeting, Mr. McMahon said: “I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t go forward with this.”

In April 2016, the operators of Blue Canoe quietly announced on Facebook that they planned to close the restaurant for good. It opened in 2012 at the former site of the Chowder Pot Pub, which had operated there for several decades. The site is considered one of the village’s most scenic locations, as it overlooks the harbor and Shelter Island can be seen in the distance.

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File photo: Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck. The store could soon open a second location in Greenport.(Credit: Vera Chinese)