By Kathryn G. Menu
After gaining approval earlier this year to spruce up the aging Baron’s Cove Inn in Sag Harbor, the newest owners of the inn announced plans this week to build an 80-seat restaurant on the property in an effort to make it a family-friendly resort destination.
However, according to Sag Harbor Village attorney Anthony Tohill, Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt will first have to determine whether or not an 80-seat restaurant is a primary or accessory use. This will determine how arduous a process the property’s owners, KBR Capital, will have to go through to make their dreams a reality.
On Tuesday, April 26, Sag Harbor attorney and former village trustee Tiffany Scarlato presented the company’s plans for the property to the village planning board.
KBR Capital, under management of Cape Resorts — an offshoot of the same firm that gained village approval for a now stalled luxury condominium project in the former Bulova Watchcase Factory — has proposed to demolish 770 square-feet of existing motel space at Baron’s Cove Inn and construct a 2,200 square-foot restaurant.
According to Scarlato, the restaurant will be accessory in nature to the motel, which is allowed under the village’s zoning code.
The two-story building will include a new entry lobby for the redesigned motel, as well as a bar, patio and restaurant, with 56 seats planned inside the restaurant and the remaining 16 seats proposed for an outdoor terrace.
A new pool house and concession area is also proposed on the site.
On Tuesday night, Scarlato noted that Baron’s Cove Inn once had a restaurant, although it was subdivided from the property and, most recently, became a nightclub before being converted into the 21 West Water Street condominiums.
“There is a lack of services in that area of the village and the idea behind this project is to bring the existing motel, which is in a substantial state of disrepair, up to standards and make it a family resort,” she said.
Scarlato said that key to the Baron’s Cove Inn renovation is the addition of a restaurant, which will make it more marketable via ratings through vacation sites like Travelocity.com.
She added that based on Cape Resorts’ other New Jersey-based properties that have restaurant facilities, it is expected that between 60 to 80 percent of the people who dine at the site will be guests at the hotel.
The restaurant would need to be hooked up to the village’s wastewater treatment plant, said Scarlato.
Curtis Bashaw, a principal of Cape Resorts and Cape Advisors, said that his firm has developed a handful of properties, primarily in Cape May, New Jersey, that feature restaurants along with hotel accommodations.