east hampton indoor tennis, lessons, club, training

Story - News

Aug 8, 2017 6:02 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village Sues Service Station Restaurant Over Patio

The Service Station restaurant in East Hampton. JON WINKLER
Aug 14, 2017 10:20 AM

While its staff is usually the ones carrying plates out of the kitchen, the Service Station restaurant itself was recently served a rather unappetizing dish: a lawsuit from East Hampton Village.

The village is suing the popular restaurant on Montauk Highway in East Hampton, saying that the owners have repeatedly violated the village code by using an outdoor brick patio as extra dining space for nearly 40 years.

According to the complaint, which was filed in State Supreme Court on July 26, the owners of the property where the restaurant is built, identified as FF&G Realty Corp., made an application to the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals in 1977 seeking a special permit to expand the restaurant’s kitchen and build an outdoor dining patio. While the ZBA approved the kitchen expansion, it denied the request to build the patio.

According to the complaint, the patio was built anyway—and that led to litigation. In 1986, the ZBA allowed the patio to stay on the condition that it would not be used for outdoor dining. And then, in 2009, the Village Board amended the village code to state generally that “no variance shall be granted to permit the introduction of any outdoor use, including outdoor dining, to a preexisting nonconforming commercial use in a residential district.”

In 2016, Peanut Butter & Jelly Time Inc. entered into a long-term lease with FF&G to operate the Service Station. On August 23, 2016, Village Code Enforcement Officer Kent Howie noticed that customers were eating outside on the brick patio and issued a code violation to the owners.

While the issue was delayed multiple times over seven months to allow the owners to prepare a proper application to the ZBA, a public hearing was held on March 10 of this year regarding the FF&G's application for variances and to legalize the use of the patio for dining purposes. Peanut Butter & Jelly Time Inc., whose representatives appeared in front of the ZBA at the hearing, incorrectly assumed that outdoor dining was allowed on the brick patio and could not prove that not having the patio used for dining would be a financial loss.

The application was denied by the ZBA on March 24, and FF&G pleaded guilty to violating the village code in East Hampton Town Justice Court on June 26, with a punishment of a $300 fine administered.

However, on July 21, Code Enforcement Officer Robert Jahoda saw customers being served food on the brick patio at the restaurant, according to the complaint. The village is looking to have the State Supreme Court order no further use of the brick patio for dining purposes.

Shane Dyckman, one of the co-owners of the restaurant, said last Tuesday that the $300 fine was paid and that the lawsuit is “being dealt with.”

“We’re doing everything we can to cooperate with the village,” he added. “There’s no wrongdoing being done here—we’re simply trying to get our outdoor seating reinstated.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Wasn't it pre-existing??? Nichols had outdoor dining as did Winston's. Not sure about Quiet Clam?? There are no neighbors nearby ... who is this bothering?
By beachbag50 (18), East Hampton on Aug 9, 17 8:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Give them a break. It hurts no one, it's been going on for decades, literally, it's an affordable restaurant with good food. It should be grandfathered. Didn't the ZBA make them take away parking spaces already? These are local owners.
By steven gaines (2), East Hampton on Aug 10, 17 8:33 AM
2 members liked this comment
All these stupid laws and rules are a joke. I would understand if they were running a nightclub or had neighbors right next door. The Village should be doing all they can to help business's and you only have to go to France, Italy, Spain and many other places to see outside dinning at its best.

By chefhart (1), East Hampton on Aug 10, 17 4:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
Between the Village and the Town they will drive businesses away.
Why is it that Montauk restaurants have outdoor dinning space?
All they want is macmansions ,collect taxes with no code enforcement requirements and screwup local businesses.
By JpKaroussos (8), on Aug 11, 17 10:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
"The owners have been using the outdoor patio for 40 years"....and NOW the Town of East Hampton decides to sue??? Laughable.
By ValGal03 (54), Montauk on Aug 12, 17 10:42 PM