By Connor Beach
The Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals has given the go-ahead to a developer seeking to open the village’s first restaurant with a bird’s-eye view.
The board, at its Dec. 29, 2017 meeting, granted permission for restaurateurs Roger Bencosme and Kazi Hassan to move forward with a planned Huntington location of their local gastropub chain, Brewology.
The planned 325 Main St. would stretch 4,500 square feet across the first floor, and also feature an additional 925 square feet of dining space on its rooftop.
There are 40 seats planned for the rooftop dining space, which will be open seasonally for five months when the weather’s warm.
The ZBA’s approval of the rooftop dining space was contingent on several conditions, including that the owners not have sidewalk seating; there is no amplified music on the rooftop; a firewall is constructed on the roof; and the rooftop space closes at 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.
Rooftop patrons will also have to be seated in order to order alcoholic beverages – the ZBA required that there only be a service bar on the rooftop.
Another condition states that the restaurant must physically move 21 of its first-floor seats to the rooftop for the five months that the outdoor space is open.
Along with the special-use permit for rooftop dining, the ZBA also granted parking relief for the plans. Town code requires that 86 parking spaces to be provided, and there are none provided by the plan.
The ZBA, in its written decision, said the parking relief was granted due to the proposal’s proximity to the Gerard Street municipal lots, the Huntington Post Office lot and the Stop & Shop lot.
The decision also details a lease agreement between Stop & Shop and the owner of the 325 Main St. building that permits Brewology to utilize the supermarket’s lot.
Final site plan approval by the town’s planning board is necessary, and building permits must be approved, before construction can begin on Brewology, according to Woodbury-based attorney Thomas Abbate, who is representing Bencosme and Hassan.
The planning board was scheduled to discuss the proposal at last night’s meeting, which occurred after deadline, but Abbate did not expect any decisions to be made regarding site plan approval.
“Hopefully it will be on the agenda for full approval on April 25,” Abbate said, adding that his clients are motivated to complete the process as quickly as possible.
Abbate added that “significant architectural work” is required to “to shore up the roof so it can support rooftop dining.”
There are two other Brewology locations, one in Port Jefferson and another in Speonk.