Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00
The Village of New Hyde Park recently announced that it approved a plan that would see the Angry Gnome Pub, which originally stood at 1217 Jericho Turnpike, reopen under new management. It’ll also houses two upstairs apartments.
The pub was devastated because of Hurricane Sandy two years ago. According to village officials, tenants were using “alternative means of heat and air conditioning” which caused a fire in November 2012 after the storm, resulting in two deaths.
Murnane will reconstruct two apartments above the bar, but the backyard, a subject of intense discussion at a public hearing in April, will be closed at 11 p.m. The yard abuts residential homes.
“We granted them the right to open up under certain circumstances,” said Mayor Robert Lofaro after a recent village meeting. “Closing the back area at 11 p.m.; they agreed to certain things. We have it [on record] that they’d agree to things and they did.”
The storefront has been vacant since the fire. New Hyde Park resident John Murnane bought the building in February.
The second floor dwellings were altered into one apartment with four bedrooms illegally by a previous owner, according to village officials. Murnane’s architect, Laura Coletti, said the apartment would be made into two living spaces with a one bedroom and two bedroom apartment. The rents would be $1,100 and $1,450 respectively.
Murnane could not be reached for comment but at a recent public hearing he said two apartments would work better.
“[Two separate apartments will] stop people from subletting rooms out to cover costs,” Murnane said. “I own other rental properties. We’re very diligent in screening who we allow to live there with credit checks and such.”
Because the apartments were reconfigured without a permit, any potential buyer would have to come back before the village board to redo the second floor, village reps say.
“That was a reinstatement of a non-conforming use,” Public Works Superintendent Tom Gannon said. “That’s why it went back before the board of trustees and not the zoning board.”