Belgian Beer Cleared For Launch

A Westville burrito bar and a Dowtown waffle joint won permission to sell booze this week. A Wooster Square Ecuadorian restaurant’s application didn’t go as smoothly.

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Tuesday evening granted permission to restaurateur Omer Ipek (pictured below) to sell beer and wine at his to-be-opened Maison Mathis Belgian Bakery Cafe operation near the corner of Elm and Park streets, which will sell sandwiches, salads, and Belgian waffles.

Thomas MacMillan Photo Omer (pictured) owns Rudy’s bar and two Belgian cafes in Manhattan.

The BZA also granted permission to Christopher Guerra to sell beer and wine at Cilantro, his Mexican grill at the corner of Whalley Avenue and Dayton Street.

Restaurateur Sophia Yevilao didn’t get the same permission—yet. She’s applying to sell beer and wine at La Cabana, an Ecuadorian and Colombian restaurant she plans to open on Grand Avenue near Olive Street.

Since she’s also looking for an exception to have five fewer spaces than zoning requires, Yevilao’s application was referred to the City Plan Commission for a recommendation. The BZA will vote on it next month.

In the meantime, neighbors let it be known that they don’t want her restaurant opening up in the area.

Three Lyon Street neighbors, including Mona Berman (pictured), objected on the grounds that parking is already a big problem in the neighborhood.

On the other hand, Court Street’s Cordalie Benoit said that since lots of people walk in the neighborhood, fewer parking spaces wouldn’t be a problem.

Paula Squillacote, the property manager for the building, told zoners that two other restaurants have occupied the same space as the the proposed one, without a problem. She said the restaurant wouldn’t have live music and would be “authentic and classy.”

The City Plan Commission will meet to discuss the proposal on June 19.

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posted by: Stephen Harris on June 14, 2013  9:04pm

Grand Avenue is a commercial corridor so this should be approved without any problem.