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Jul 9, 2018 11:55 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Restaurant Planned At Site Of The Corner Restaurant In Westhampton Beach

After sitting vacant for years, the building that previously housed The Corner Restaurant may soon be torn down and replaced with a new restaurant. ELSIE BOSKAMP
Jul 11, 2018 7:49 AM

After sitting vacant for more than a decade, the rundown property located on the southwest corner of Montauk Highway and Oak Street in Westhampton Beach, which most recently housed The Corner Restaurant, could soon receive a much-needed face-lift.

According to Village Mayor Maria Moore, the property owner, Emanuel Maris, plans to demolish the existing restaurant building, as well as the residential home on Oak Street just behind the old eatery, and build a new restaurant and parking lot. The plans would not affect the popular Boom Burger restaurant, which is on the same property.

“They would like a little more space, because there’s not that much room for parking,” Ms. Moore said. “They have a deal with the owners of the residential lot behind the property—the little red house—to knock that house down and expand the property to allow for additional parking.”

In order for the renovation to happen, the Village Board needs to approve Mr. Maris’s request to change the zoning of the rear residential property to commercial. Doing so requires a change of code, to push the commercial zoning back about 70 feet, which would line the property, and future parking spaces, up with the parking lot at TD Bank, just across the street.

If the request is approved, a full site plan will be required to ensure that the property has adequate parking, lighting, paving, drainage, sidewalks and curb cuts, Building and Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan said. The proposed building would consist of a 2,800-square-foot first floor to be used as a restaurant, and a 2,000-square-foot second floor to be used as office space, he noted.

The board referred the change of zone request to the Planning Board for review in June, but the request was held over late last month by the Planning Board, because Mr. Maris’s architect, Nicholas Vero, of Nicholas Vero Architects in Westhampton Beach, was not available to attend a meeting at the time. The board is now expected to discuss the request at its July 12 meeting; however, Mr. Houlihan noted that the board would likely request additional information before making any suggestion to the Village Board.

Once the Planning Board makes a recommendation on the plan, it would be sent back to the Village Board for approval.

“They’re in the preliminary stages,” Mr. Houlihan said. “They have a long way to go—they’re at the very first stage, where they have to see if the trustees will move the line.”

The renovation plans for the half-acre property, which features both the old boarded-up building, which was the popular Dora’s before becoming the Corner Restaurant, and Boom Burger, are not expected to impact Boom Burger, according to Ms. Moore.

Plans to renovate The Corner Restaurant have been in the works for more than a decade, beginning in 2005, when former owner Jimmy Chih submitted site plans to update the property’s drainage and parking, but filed bankruptcy before those plans could be brought to fruition.

In 2010, local developer Micky Biss then purchased the property with plans to restore the old eatery. That restoration was also left unfinished, and the property vacant, because Mr. Biss did not adhere to the previously approved site plan, nor did he submit an alternate plan.

In August 2016, the property was purchased by Mr. Maris, who owns several restaurants, including the TAO chain in Manhattan.

According to Ms. Moore, the board is open to approving the lot line modification. “I think the board is comfortable doing it, but we need the recommendation from the Planning Board first, and then we’ll have a public hearing,” she said.

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Frankly anything would be better than a decade old vacant building! I must say I have not met Ms Moore but her pledge to make WHB more business friendly seems to be taking shape. Kudos.
By Hambone (505), New York on Jul 11, 18 11:22 AM
Actually the smart one is the new restaurant owner. Think of it. Although this restaurant will be a mere 12 feet from the new sewer line and he will have to pay for the construction of the sewer system (That only removes less then 2% nitrogen from the bays) will never have to pay for the cost of the actual operation which will run into the thousands each year. Additionally this restaurant will never be able to hook up to the system even if he wanted to since the system will be at capacity the day ...more
By Bobt (36), WHB on Jul 11, 18 12:55 PM
1 member liked this comment