By Kathryn G. Menu
Restaurateur Jeff Resnick is getting ready to open The Cuddy, a rustic, American restaurant he intends to keep open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But according to Barbara Manning, manager of both The Cuddy and Sen, Resnick’s Japanese restaurant and sushi bar directly next door to The Cuddy’s Main Street, Sag Harbor location, while the fire code would allow the new eatery to have 73 seats, based on the village code requirements regarding seating and parking, it can only have 50 seats.
At Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting, Manning and Muse in the Harbor chef and owner Matt Guiffrida approached the board asking it revisit its requirements regarding restaurant seating in the village.
Currently, the number of seats in a restaurant is based on parking credits and septic flow.
“The way ours is now, I am allowed 104 [under state fire code], but with the village its 64 seats, so I have to leave 600 square feet of my restaurant empty to be able to seat people outside,” said Guiffrida.
The restrictions on Guiffrida, unlike at The Cuddy’s, only impact him when he wants to have outdoor dining. Under the village code that allows outdoor dining, the total number of seats in a restaurant must remain the same whether indoor or outdoor dining is being used.
Mayor Brian Gilbride said he would have the building inspector, fire marshal and village attorney look into the issue.
“I just want to make sure you know this is not a low voice but an issue vital to all restaurants,” said Manning.
Seasonal Limits to Long-term Parking Explored
Tuesday night, the village board held a public hearing on a new local law that would limit the time cars can be parked in a municipal lot – including year-round, long-term/overnight parking – to 72 hours or three consecutive days.
Previously, the code allowed cars to park for up to seven days, but as trustee Robby Stein noted, residents were parking in long-term spaces on Sunday and not returning until the next Friday, eating up a number of critical parking spaces near the village’s downtown.
The law, if adopted, he added, would only be implemented on a seasonal basis.
Despite no public opposition to the law, Gilbride suggested they leave it open for comments until the board’s May 14 meeting.
A local law was also introduced on Tuesday that would allow the zoning at 48 Madison Street, the former Sag Harbor United Methodist Church building, to convert from a commercial space in the village business district to a residential parcel once again.
The parcel had been designated residential, but was re-zoned as a commercial space in 2010 after artist and businesswoman Elizabeth Dow purchased it from former Southampton Town Councilman Dennis Suskind.
However, last week, it was revealed Dow has sold the property to Sloan Schaffer, a businessman with strong ties to the art world who hopes to convert the former church building into his personal home.
On Tuesday night, the board forwarded the application to the planning board for review and once that is completed agreed it would schedule a public hearing.