Sag Harbor Village Board Revokes Page at 63 Main Outdoor Dining License

Posted on 18 July 2014

DSC_0816

Waiters remove chairs from Page at 63 Main Friday afternoon after the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees revoked the restaurant’s outdoor dining license. 

By Stephen J. Kotz

The Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees on Friday, July 18, revoked the outdoor dining license of Page at 63 Main restaurant. The village board took the action, Mayor Brian Gilbride said, primarily because of ongoing code compliance issues with the restaurant’s new Back Page café, which opened earlier this year.

It did so after attorney Dennis Downes—who told the board the outdoor dining on Main Street earned the restaurant between $7,500 and $10,000 a day—said its owners would shut down the Back Page café immediately until zoning code violations were resolved and a site plan was issued if the village would allow it to keep its outdoor dining license.

Minutes after the village issued its order, at about 5 p.m., waiters were busy removing the tables and chairs that had graced the front of the restaurant next door to the Municipal Building.

The restaurant found itself in hot water when village officials said it made improvements to the property without first obtaining building permits. Village officials also said the restaurant created an outdoor dining area with a slate patio, when the village Planning Board had intended for it to be used simply as a waiting area for patrons who wanted to dine in the main restaurant.

Village officials also said a refrigerated Dumpster enclosure that was built behind the Back Page posed a fire hazard because it was wired for electricity, a charge the restaurant’s representatives denied.

The village also charged that Page did not remove the same number of seats from inside the restaurant as it offered outside, as it had agreed to do when applying for the license.

Last week, the village building inspector suspended the Main Street dining license, pending the restaurant’s appearance next week in village Justice Court. In the meantime, said Mayor Gilbride, the restaurant’s owners “thumbed their nose” at the village.

“We’re here talking because when there was a suspension… the right thing would have been to remove the tables and chairs and let’s get to the bottom of this,” the mayor said.

Mr. Downes sought to prevent the village board from taking action, saying the outdoor dining right was “a valuable property right” that the village could not revoke without “due process.”

Village attorney Fred W. Thiele Jr. called those charges “ludicrous,” adding that the village only charged $100 for a license and said if outdoor seats were as valuable as Mr. Downes said they were, the village should be charging more. “It’s a privilege to use public property for a private use,” Mr. Thiele said.

Mr. Downes conceded that mistake had been made, but said the restaurant had been held up during the planning process and had to do the work to be ready for the summer season.

“Without those seats, there is a lot of money being lost,” said Mr. Downes of the outdoor dining. “It could be the difference between being able to stay alive in the winter where there are less people out here.”

Be Sociable, Share!

This post was written by:

- who has written 452 posts on The Sag Harbor Express.

Arts Editor and Education Reporter for the Sag Harbor Express. Covering the East End with a focus on arts, education and the police blotter. Twitter: @TessaRaebeck

Contact the author

14 Responses to “Sag Harbor Village Board Revokes Page at 63 Main Outdoor Dining License”

  1. Greg says:

    So typical of these small villages, no care for the businesses trying to survive. It’s a 3-4 month season out here, let the businesses bend the rules that don’t hurt anyone for a chance to keep people employed!

  2. Anthony says:

    Greg, unfortunately, that is not true. The Village bent over backwards to get the proper approvals in place for Page to get the approvals required. Instead of waiting for this approvals to be issued, the owner constructed 90% of the improvements in the rear of the property without a building permit. The dumpster enclosure was constructed of wood (in violation of the Building Code) right next to Murf’s tavern (which is also constructed of wood), and serviced by a sub-standard electrical source for illumination. The fire code and safety violations were so concerning that several Village employees could not sleep at night and they implored the owner and his attorney to remedy them without court intervention. Those desperate requests were ignored and now the owner will face those charges in Justice Court. Sag Harbor Village is an incredibly business-friendly district but they can’t sit back and allow Page to create a hazardous situation 0 feet from Murf’s Tavern.

  3. Max says:

    That is unfortunate, the food is good along with a great outdoor scene.

  4. Greg says:

    The dumpster has nothing to do with tables out in front. 10 tables probably employs another 2-3 people in the community.

  5. Mark says:

    The Village bent over backwards to get the proper approvals,…???
    First these bureaucrats create bibles upon business regulations that only serve
    to create government jobs but are anti business , anti jobs and anti human, and are designed for a self serving minority of a government employees to justify their jobs only.
    Then , then they state that bent over backwards to accommodate the business owner
    who has the full risk, who is the driving force of commerce, who creates jobs upon jobs,..
    The business owner who pays these government employees salaries and should get a medal
    for sticking his neck out to make the community a better place only to be stopped by these
    government control freaks , that have never seen any free space that THEY don’t think should be regulated by their genius. Good night freedom.

  6. Sara says:

    Take away seats in the front of a restaurant for a purposely delayed permit issue in the back??? Village Board I would watch yourselves, you know retribution like that is against the law. Petty small town political attack from glorified mall cops. Do these clowns think they’re doing something GOOD for the town by taking away sidewalk dining? Why don’t they ask the public what they think? I bet 99% of the people in this town would WANT the outdoor seating, I know I would.

  7. harry says:

    Page has been regenerated into a wonderful dinning experience, great venue and much needed cafe.

  8. John says:

    This is outrageous. The ludicrous aspect of this situation is not the position taken by the business but rather the position of the village, its attorney and the Mayor. The permit approval process is so backlogged and bureaucratic it’s nearly impossible to accomplish anything in a timely fashion – whether it be residential or commercial. Commercial businesses cannot afford to sit around while the bureaucrats take their sweet time addressing applications and then over-scrutinizing them when they finally get around to it. The revocation of the outside dining license in the front of this establishment appears to have no connection with the violations in the back cited in this article. The statements made by public officials serve only to demonstrate their arrogance and the abuse of their authority. It’s time for a change in governance in the Village.

  9. Larry says:

    It seems Mayor Brian Gilbride has an axe to grind with Page owners. All he is doing, is stifling business, and destroying a dozen paying jobs….Oh and also pissing off the people who love to eat there.

    Any supposed safety issues (if addressed promtly by officials) could have been fix or remied in a few days. Don’t shut them down.

    This is Government at it’s worst! Mayor Brian Gilbride, do your job! Be productive!

  10. Chris says:

    government again keeping business from adding jobs…and from offering alternatives….for a little town…a big government mentality that wont even staff for growth, which by the way will hurt it ultimately.

  11. Sue Nelson says:

    It would seem that Sag Harbor has the the reputation of being unreasonable and unethical when to comes to the issuing of permits for local business’s . The owners of Page have turned it into a beautiful and well run establishment and a true asset to the village. The Mayor and his board should be happy and willing to do anything to help those who want to add a restaurant of this calibre here. Instead they allow illegal activities and have actually been seen enjoying drinks in an area of one Main st restaurant in which it is against the law to serve alcohol . Obviously that’s ok probably because they’re in their pocket but of course that wouldn’t happen in our sweet village!
    Perhaps they should hire more staff in order to expedite the approving of permits. In the mean time forget the politics and give Page their outdoor seats back. Allow their waiters to earn enough so they can afford to live here and think of all the people who are affected by your decision.

  12. Karen D says:

    I have enjoyed many wonderful meals at Page and was happy that they were adding more outdoor dining. Too often there is a long wait to get a table and the added space would help reduce that. Plus, alfresco dining is preferred. Who wants to sit inside when you can enjoy the beautiful summer Sag nights outdoors at Page??? The Village officials need to embrace the business owners that are trying to improve Sag and the life style we enjoy, not try to inhibit them at every move. This is ridiculous!!!!

  13. Theresa says:

    It’s disgusting! I support the town in any antics they want to do to keep big Box store business out of the town and keeping SGH to small family run businesses…NOT like other towns. That is why I love Sag Harbor (Although I do miss the quitter season a little). It’s those small business that keep this town running…that live and work in this town…that pay taxes all year long for over 40+ years ect.

    HOWEVER…This smells like a personal issue and a well thought out “plan” by the mayor to sabotage another business because he “didn’t like someone – or somebody didn’t kiss his shiny A$$”.
    Sag Harbor and this fat bloated mayor will put this town on the map and be no different then the corrupt Brookhaven aka “Crook-Haven”!
    This Is the 5th establishment he has tried to squash just in the past 8 months!

    How many restaurants have the ability to bring schools in and teach them about sustainable farming and show them (first hand) what aquaponics is and why it is important. Ask my son…because he has been talking about it for months! So why purposely squash a biz trying to do some GOOD….it’s NOT CIGAR BAR…it’s Not Murphs….not even the same crowd and bucket. Help them get what they need done (fine them if they break the rules) but don’t take away 40 seats to any biz that survives off of those 6 months of turns a year.

    That restaurant has gotten more write ups and reviews for the entire Aquaponic engineering and will most likely put Sag Harbor on the map for a GOOD reason!

    Its personal NOT business…This Mayor just hurt every waiters, bartenders and bus boys pockets there by his stupid ego!

  14. Theresa says:

    …By the way… Clearly “Anthony” is biased. I’m guessing he a murphs staff member. Maybe he cleans the puke off the floor or wipes the coke from the bathroom toilets tops.. I don’t know… or maybe he’s just in on the towns plan. lol


Leave a Reply

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off-topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Terms of Service

Follow The Express…


Pictures of the Week - See all photos