Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 02 December 2011 00:00
One of the mainstays in Mineola sits on Jericho Turnpike between Mineola Boulevard and Willis Avenue: Churrasqueira Bairrada Rodizio. Its cuisine is fine, its atmosphere charming and is packed daily by 4 p.m. So when Carvalho Imports opened up on East 2nd Street in Mineola, not only do residents have the ability to sample the cuisine, they can try to put it together themselves.
The village board of Mineola discussed Carvalho Imports’ request for a special use permit to sell food, owned and operated by Manny Carvalho, who also owns Bairrada, at its most recent public hearing.
“Mr. Carvalho’s restaurant [on Jericho Turnpike] has been attracting people from all over Long Island for many years now, which is a good thing for our village,” legal counsel Marco Silva said. “Clearly he has made a positive contribution to Mineola and its general welfare.”
The previous occupant was a machine shop, but it was redone to “create a much nicer look,” Silva said.
The retail store supplies specialty imports that include, but are not limited to, unique kitchenware, canned and dry goods, frozen foods, cured meats, fish and bread, etc. No hot food cooking whatsoever is done on the premises, according to Silva.
Originally, Carvalho had all necessary permits, opening up as of right, meaning he didn’t need anything beyond construction permits, village officials said. Carvalho started adding food products to the retail store, not realizing a special use permit is needed once food is added to an existing non-food business. A similar situation occurred with a local Mineola store, 99 Cents Paradise in June, which was selling food out of a freezer and assorted candies at the store without a permit.
The imports store operates Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and employs up to five people at a time on the premises. The warehouse is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Village officials said Carvalho, upon being informed of the required permit, immediately cooperated and applied for permit. Considering Carvalho originally opened up as retail only and then began to sell food, officials said he was not trying to usurp board approval.
Trustee Larry Werther was concerned if, at the time, there was anything spoilable or putrescible waste. Silva indicated that only dry goods and hard items like dishes and flatware were being sold until the store received its permit.
“The steps you have taken have beautified the area and the steps you’ve taken will better the village,” Werther said. “The only reason we’re here is the food items that are being sold there. I’m not worried about disturbing neighbors and there are no residential neighbors to disturb in that area. You’ve handled your restaurant on Jericho Turnpike with the utmost professionalism and I’m confident that you will carry that over.”
Carvalho stated that a company picks up garbage twice a week as of now. That could increase in the future.
“Mr. Carvalho runs a class operation at his restaurant,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “And it seems that a class operation is growing on Second Street.”
Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira inquired about deliveries to and from the warehouse and store. Carvalho stated that there are no overnight deliveries and no huge trucks would cause any traffic issues.
“It’s a considerable facelift to an industrial area,” he said. “The retail space fills a need that the community obviously wants.”
Silva interjected that the two-door entrance on the east side of the property is where deliveries are made.
“It won’t cause any problems for traffic and wouldn’t impact any neighborhoods,” Silva said.
Prepackaged meats do exist at the store and there is a section in the back that would house fish and meats but no food or preparation that could spoil meats. That section is currently not in use per the village code.
“It will all be done right I can assure you,” Silva said.
The application will go before the Nassau County Planning Commission (NCPC) for approval, per the village’s architectural jurisdiction on the property. The board reserved decision until the NCPC rules.