After sitting vacant for 20 months, the old Cork N' Board building in Malverne will once again be home to a dining establishment.
Anthony Dedona, the owner of 243 Hempstead Ave., and went before the Malverne village board a second time Thursday with their plans to "reestablish and intensify" the building as a restaurant. Officials uaninmously granted them the parking exemption they needed and then approved the designs for the building’s new façade (see photo).
Since the village code requires restaurants to have one available parking space for every two customers it can hold, (including two handicapped spots), the proposed 84-seat eatery would have needed 42 spaces. However, the board granted the developers a variance.
Although officials had concerns regarding a lack of parking in the area when the proposal was they seemed comforted by the findings of a more "elaborate" analysis of the parking situation laid out Thursday night.
In his follow-up survey, traffic engineer Sean Mulryan expanded the scope to include spaces within a five-minute walking distance from the restaurant. Adding in metered spots on Church Street and Hempstead Avenue, and inside the municipal lot near the train station, he counted more than 600 spaces.
According to Mulryan’s findings, the restaurant would generate the most demand for parking on weekday nights around 7 p.m. and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m.; The one-hour parking spots should be sufficient for lunch-time diners.
Mulryan also looked specifically at Charles Street to address concerns aired by residents at the last hearing, but “did not find an abundance of people parking [there] to access the stores currently open at this site” and didn’t see that changing much with the addition of the restaurant.
He concluded, "There is ample parking to support this site … We don't feel this restaurant will exacerbate in any significant way the parking on those residential streets."
But Deputy Mayor Joseph Hennessy still had reservations. “At lunch time that place is packed; there isn't a parking space to be had," he said. "On Saturday and Sunday, it's a madhouse over there."
Hennessy asked Bove if he'd be proactive and direct his customers to park in spots away from Hempstead Avenue, such as on Broadway, to alleviate the congestion. (He obliged, and also agreed to tell his staff to park in the lot adjacent to the deli he owns further down on Hempstead Avenue.)
David Walsh, who owns a funeral home on Hempstead Avenue, reminded the village board that since the building was constructed it has always been a restaurant, and that by granting parking exceptions to other merchants they had "set a precedent."
A handful of residents living near the site also spoke up in favor of the restaurant, albeit a concern was raised about the spaces along Hempstead Avenue being too narrow. (Mayor McDonald promised to look into it.)
“There was never a big problem when the Cork N’ Board was there,” Joe Engelke, who’s lived next to the site’s adjacent lot since 1990, told the board. “I don’t see where it would inconvenience everybody so much … People are here to make money to generate business for the town. I’m all for it.”
Are you happy the restaurant proposal was approved?