Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 08 January 2014 00:00
The Mineola Village Board held off making a decision on an application by Jeremiah O’Carroll, owner of O’Carroll’s Recovery Room, to open a store selling shakes and smoothies in Station Plaza North. The store would sit next to the Recovery Room, a local bar, if approved.
O’Carroll has called Station Plaza home for five years. He feels the shake shop would bring more consumers to the train station.
“The reason why we plan to build a shake store there is the foot traffic,” he said. “It would be a nice thing to bring people to the plaza and Mineola.”
One main sticking point with the village board is the usage of the rear of the proposed shop, which would be sectioned off and include expanding the bar’s dart room, which Mayor Scott Strauss called “odd.” Another issue before the board is the construction of a bathroom in the store. Currently, the proposed location’s only bathroom access is through the bar.
“I’m assuming that a parent who takes their young child into your bar to use the bathroom out of desperate need...here they go to a yogurt store thinking it’s a regular store but no, you have to go through the bar to use the bathroom,” Strauss said. “You have a dart room. So I assume there’s going to be dart games. Are people going to have to navigate through the darts to take little Johnny to the bathroom?”
Architect Emilio Sousa said, “He’s only got that one space. So half’s going to one dream and other part’s going in the other part of the dream.”
O’Carroll was not against adding a second bathroom.
“From my experience in the bar, we get about 200 people a day using the bathroom and they’re not all customers,” O’Carroll said. “We have no problem putting in the bathroom [in the shake store].”
Village trustee Paul Cusato asked how O’Carroll could stop minors from entering the bar from the shake store to try to buy beer.
Sousa said a door between the two locations could be closed off.
“The rear portion, we would like to see it consolidated to become part of the existing bar that’s next door,” he said. “Just to clarify, there was no intention to have direct access from the yogurt store to the bar. I don’t think it would be an issue to add another bathroom.”
The store would be open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. if approved. According to business manager Coleman Meyer, there would be four employees on site.
Trustee Dennis Walsh asked what O’Carroll would do if the shop fails. “I don’t believe in failure,” O’Carroll replied.
The business would offer smoothies ranging from the traditional rainbow of fruity flavors—strawberry, blueberry, mango, etc.—to more eclectic, health-focused ingredients such as organic leafy greens and vegetables. Additional organic juices would also be available.
“We’d have set-ups for frozen yogurts and nutritional smoothies as well as vegetable mixes with fruit,” O’Carroll said.
Strauss pointed out that it’s, “a bit of a change from what you’re offering now,” prompting laughs from the crowd. He asked why O’Carroll didn’t just apply to expand the bar.
O’Carroll said his landlord doesn’t want the two storefronts combined into one. But ideally, expansion would be the best course although unlikely. “My wish would be to [own both buildings] but I think [the owner] is happy having a good tenant.”
“We decided that we’d use the back portion [for the dart room] and put something in the front that’s useful and think it’ll work,” said O’Carroll. “It’s been a success so far, so a bit more room will help me.”