Board Weighs Rooftop Dining Positives, Negatives

Long Islander News photo/Janee Law Northport Village trustees are considering proposals to allow Northport village restaurants, such as Skipper’s Pub, to offer rooftop dining.

Long Islander News photo/Janee Law
Northport Village trustees are considering proposals to allow Northport village restaurants, such as Skipper’s Pub, to offer rooftop dining.

By Janee Law

jlaw@longislandergroup.com

Northport Village officials are weighing potential positives and negatives that allowing rooftop dining in the village may bring.

Trustees hosted a workshop on the topic May 9 with Skipper’s Pub owners Paul and Marie Gallowitsch, who have been lobbying the board to allow rooftop dining so they can offer it at their pub.

The Gallowitsches began their pursuit two years ago, pitching a $400,000 rooftop addition to the 34 Main St. location that overlooks Northport Harbor.

Northport Village Trustee Ian Milligan said Tuesday that the workshop was informational and featured discussion on topics like noise, and whether or not bars would be permitted on rooftops.

Milligan added that possible restrictions were also discussed, such as operating hours and whether business owners would be required to have a roof hang over the rooftop dining area.

“We can basically save a lot of time by being able to hash out and discuss things,” Milligan said. “Members of the board were able to ask questions. [Paul] was able to ask questions. And we were getting a little more clarification on his intentions.”

Milligan said he’s unsure whether or not the board will arrange another workshop, but trustees are looking at the rooftop laws of other municipalities, such as Port Jefferson and Patchogue, for guidance.

Carolina Bustamante, co-owner of a Main Street restaurant in Patchogue, said in a phone interview that the opening of rooftop dining establishment Rhum in the village hasn’t caused any problems with noise or traffic.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a negative. I think it’s a plus to the village,” Bustamante said Wednesday. “If a lot of other places had it, it would definitely be a plus.”

In Bayville, Shipwreck Tavern offers rooftop dining. A manager at neighboring Souvlaki Place said the tavern also drives customers into his restaurant. Emanuel, who declined to give his last name, added in a phone interview on Tuesday that rooftop dining “brings business into Bayville in general.”

“It attracts more people to the beach if they have a rooftop, so generally people can go have a drink there and then come here and eat, or vice versa,” he added.

In March, Northport Village Trustees passed a resolution to “clarify” village outdoor dining code to explicitly prevent rooftop dining in the village.

At the time, residents were split on the move, with some voicing support and others raising concerns.

Milligan added, “We’re identifying any of the concerns of the neighbors and residents and seeing if those things can be worked out.”