Huntington Excludes Hamlets From ‘Bistro’ Legislation

By Andrew Wroblewski

  Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards

Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards

The Huntington Town Board voted last week to remove the town’s hamlet centers from legislation that allows small-scale restaurants to apply for liquor licenses, and add more seats.

The legislation was first proposed by Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards in November, and was approved in January. However, in its approved form, the legislation included businesses located in town’s hamlet centers, which some cited as a concern due to limited parking in some of those areas. The hamlet centers, as defined by the Horizons 2020 Comprehensive Plan are Cold Spring Harbor, East Northport, Greenlawn, Huntington Station and downtown Huntington.

During the April 5 town board meeting, the amended legislation was approved 4-0, with Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson not voting as he was not in attendance.

The legislation allows small restaurants under 2,500 square feet, such as pizzerias, to apply for a “bistro” classification, allowing business owners to apply for liquor licenses, and add more seats to their establishments.

The legislation is intended to help small-business owners who are operating in strip malls to be more competitive with larger restaurants. Prior to the adopted legislation, small-scale food shops could not seat more than 15 people, nor could they serve alcohol.

Edwards said Tuesday that two applications for the bistro designation have been filed with the town, both of which are outside the designated hamlet centers.

“We trying our best to meet the needs of people in the strip malls, primarily on Jericho Turnpike, while also caring for the parking concerns of those in the hamlets,” Edwards said. “This is the best of both worlds.”