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In with the Barstools!

Moon River Grill Immediately Enjoying its New Full-Service Status

The staff of , who watched the live on TV Wednesday night, had the bar stools already in place by the time owner Bob Ronan arrived back.

“What a circus it was,” Ronan said the morning after the momentous meeting with a sigh of relief. “It seemed like I was winning, then someone would speak, and I was losing, then I was winning, and back and forth like that for an hour. But in the end it seemed common sense prevailed.”

“Now we can do it right,” he said. “We’re a full-service restaurant.”

According to Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio, the issue was two-fold, and of course, more complicated than it seemed.

First, a “use variance,” Giaccio explained, is very difficult to get and requires proof of financial hardship which wasn't realistic. So initially Ronan had to prove he didn’t need a use variance to add barstools to his restaurant.

Second, was the issue of achieving a zone change for that particular location at 222 Beekman. Under the original zoning stipulations there could be no outside seating, no live music, and no drinking or smoking on the deck. These mandates were to be revisited after a one-year probationary period. But this, as described by Giaccio, was a “misunderstanding between the applicant and the Zoning Board. He just wanted barstools and doesn’t care about that other stuff.”

In the final moments on Wednesday, Ronan did make one additional request: for the Grill to be able to stay open until midnight, which he was granted. “Not that I will always want to do that,” Ronan said, “but it’s nice to have the option.”

Ultimately, the Board decided they just had to redefine what a "restaurant" is for the whole Village.

“In the end, the Zoning Board said, you know what, give them their 10 stools,” Giaccio said.

The vote was unanimous. “Everybody clapped. It was pretty dramatic,” Giaccio said. “As exciting as local politics can get.”

“Here we go,” Ronan said. “It’s like a new beginning. But be careful what you wish for, right?”

Tina Bellino October 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Thank God common sense prevailed! I've been in this restaurant 3 times and couldn't help but notice the lack of bar stools. My fiance and I try to support local venues, and were perplexed by this empty bar. To be honest, we only went to sit and eat dinner, but knew this had to be extremely difficult for a business to sustain a steady clientele without bar stools. Moon River Grill: 1, Local political nonsense: 0 Shame on Sleepy!!
Mr Sleepy hollow October 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Sleepy hollow politicians have a long standing tradition of a huge lack of common sense. it is something they need to lack when they are considered able to run by the team of knuckleheads running the political ticket at the time. Just go back and look at thier many bad judgment calls over the years. it's astounding.
joy October 21, 2011 at 01:13 PM
Great news. Let's move on!
Jayne mcguire October 21, 2011 at 01:19 PM
Thank god we are everyday customers of Moonriver and proud to say the first patrons to sit on his new bar stools yesterday here's to much success and happiness
Janice Landrum October 21, 2011 at 01:22 PM
great news! Fairness prevailed.
Shelly Colley October 21, 2011 at 01:41 PM
such good news, I love the food there, and sometimes we just want to go in for a quick bite!
Victoria Cabezas October 21, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Good for Moon River!
Anne D'Alessandro October 21, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Congratulations Bob. A long time coming.
Babsy October 22, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Good for you Bob!! That Village should be happy to have you there! Hope your business flourishes!
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) October 22, 2011 at 01:00 PM
I hope all the coverage makes more people go down to those two good restaurants--they're now a real anchor for the end of Beekman.

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