Basso in Greenport looks to reopen, but needs village approval

A wine and tapas bar that’s been shuttered since February could be making a return to Greenport before the end of the year.

At a village planning board meeting Thursday, a Nov. 30 public hearing was set on a change of use application for Basso, now located at 407 Main Street.

After a five-year lease ended in Stirling Square last year, Basso owner Nick DeCillis reopened across the street in the former Gallery M space in January. 

But in order to legally operate, the village must approve the change of use from Group M retail to Group A-2, which encompasses bars and taverns.

“I was open for quite some time and then this A-2 came up and I got shut down Valentine’s Day weekend,” Mr. DeCillis explained to Planning Board members at Thursday’s meeting. “And then Covid hit,” he continued, noting that the unresolved planning issue prevented him from even opening for curbside pickup and takeout. “I just want to get up and going,” he said.

According to Mr. DeCillis, his licensing under state Agriculture & Markets permits the gourmet shop to hold a liquor license and serve wines by the glass in addition to their retail offerings.

“I operate under the same licensing as Kate’s Cheese Shop. I sell a lot of the same things,” he said, arguing that his business includes retail aspects as well.

He said that while he’s allowed to have up to 16 seats, current pandemic restrictions limit capacity to eight seats at an indoor counter.

He said he does not plan to offer additional seating or tables elsewhere in the shop, which will sell cheese, pasta, olive oils and other items.

The public hearing will be held Monday, Nov. 30 at 4 p.m.