Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 14 October 2011 00:00
If anything goes better together than the morning rush and the mayhem that ensues, whether it is by car, bus or train, it’s a cup of coffee and a quick bite. Local residents and workers who frequent Station Plaza will get plenty of both now.
The Village of Mineola approved the renewal of an existing application that originally allowed the sale of food at a previous restaurant at a recent public hearing to Amistad Culinary Team. The café sits at the corner of Second Street and Station Plaza North as you cross over Mineola Boulevard, heading west from Second Street.
There were previous violations that occurred with the previous tenant, according to Village Building Superintendent Dan Whalen. Legal counsel representatives said the applicant has resolved those issues.
Mary Ellen Villalta, business manager and owner of the new establishment stated that a grand opening date is unknown at this time.
“We’re submitting plans to the fire marshal soon,” she said.
Baked goods will reportedly be sold at the café, along with soups, salads, breakfast and dinner meals among others. Villalta said their drive is to be busy on the weekends.
“All of our baked goods are homemade along with other food types,” she said.
In 2006, the board originally ruled in favor of an identical application for the sale of food. There were 11 conditions stated that still apply today.
The business was first identified as a coffee house/café in 2006. Applicant attorney Rex Whitehorn stated it would remain with that distinction.
“We intend to maintain a near identical use as a coffee house,” Whitehorn said. “The size of the property has not changed and it won’t. The lease for the space is the same landlord, just a new tenant obtaining the space previously occupied by the prior applicant in 2006.”
The prior decision stated that the café not exceed 59 occupants at any given time. Whitehorn stated the new tenant would stay true to that condition.
The café will feature 10-12 tables; another identical figure from the previous tenant. Whitehorn estimated that 60 percent of the business would be of a sit-down nature, while 40 percent would be takeout, with “simulated outdoor seating.”
“We understand that there may be additional permits required [for outdoor seating],” Whitehorn stated. “We’re just stating this as anticipated desire in the event we seek that. We’re not applying for that right now.”
The current tenant maintains that store hours would be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“You mentioned that deliveries will occur at 7 a.m.,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “My concern is if you’re getting deliveries at 7 a.m. on or about the time that you are open, pedestrian traffic there is tremendous and could be problematic for large trucks or people trying to get to the train station.”
Villalta said she plans on picking up most of the products herself and be at the café around 6 a.m. on delivery days.
“If I see that it’s interrupting anyone, changes will be made,” she said. Whitehorn said the amount of food to be delivered other than “owner-delivered” is unknown at this time, but should be minimal. Furthermore, there is parking for deliveries south and east of the café.
“There is parking for deliveries,” Whitehorn said. “The size of the items that the area would receive, and reasonably expect four deliveries, we don’t even expect something as big as a hand truck to be involved.”