Kyma restaurant owner Reno Christou said he was blind sided by opposition to his plan to renovate and buy the former location of shuttered Poco Loco restaurant at April’s Village of Roslyn’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.
“I had no idea all these people were going to show up and say all these things,” Christou said last Thursday. “I had no idea.”
Jeff Blank, a partner in an Ameriprise Financial franchise in a building located next to the former Mexician restaurant at 1431 Old Northern Blvd., said at the meeting that if another restaurant opened at the location, it would exacerbate existing parking problems in the area.
“If you grant them any permit, the whole place is going to be a mess,” said Blank, a resident of East Hills.
On Wednesday morning, a month after the zoning board meeting, Blank said he has spoken with Christou and that the parking issues he has with the restaurant has been resolved.
“The valet parking is the only problem that I have with the restaurant and they were using certain areas that belonged to me,” Blank said. “I’ve spoken to him and he has resolved it with his people and so far, there’s been no problem at all.”
Blank said he will make it a point to attend the next Zoning Board meeting to lend support to Christou’s application.
“I’d like the board to know that I’ve worked things out with Kyma,” the East Hills said. “The parking doesn’t matter to me. I just want good neighbors. And to me, the parking situation is resolved as long as his people don’t start parking in my spot.”
Chrisou said a week after the meeting, he met with the four people who were at the meeting to “smooth things over” and all the parking complaints against him acquiring the Poco Loco building have been remedied.
“I met with Jeff and we spoke for a while and I have to admit, my guys sometimes park in his spot and on a couple of occasions blocked him in,” Christou said. “I understand why that would make him really mad.”
Christou said he has given orders to his valet not to park in Blank’s parking space.
“I don’t mind having to pay to rent his spot after he leaves at 5 p.m.,” Christou said.
Christou and his attorney Christopher Browne applied for a parking variance that will allow the restaurant to operate with 21 parking spaces rather than the 58 called for under the zoning code.
Browne suggested his client could make up for the 32 parking space with a valet service that would bring cars to other parking locations.
“Since the restaurant will have a capacity of 92 people and it’s three people in car, we can make up for it by providing valet during dinner around 5 p.m.,” Brown said.
The board voted unanimously to adjourn the hearing, pending further examination of the parking issues that the new restaurant might create and ways the new owners intend to address them.
“The owner originally filed the applications last year to rebuild the restaurant when it was damaged by fire,” Browne said to the Roslyn Times last Thursday.
He said that based on the “extraneous circumstances” surrounding the owner, Harendra Singh, who was indicted in 2015, his client decided to take over the renovation process.
“The basis of the application are going to be the same. The site would be returned to what it used to be,” Browne said. “The building has been a restaurant for decades and we are asking for the same number of seats and services provided.”
Browne said although the four people who attended the April zoning board meeting vehemently opposed the application, he thinks opposition isn’t widespread.
I don’t know that there is very much opposition to the plan,” Browne said. “Reno have spoken with the neighbors, and to my understanding, he is satisfied with the response he got.”
“Christou said he has also spoken with Bart Loiodice, who resides at 22 Skillman St. who accused Kyma restaurant’s valet of reckless driving.
“I spoken with the gentleman and he said he doesn’t have an issue with me,” Christou said.
Loiodice said the valet service at Kyma has been reckless and an accident occurred on the night of April 2, two days before the zoning board meeting because the valet drivers were allegedly car racing each other.
“That statement was absolutely false,” Christou said. “My guys don’t drive their cars that far and if there was any accident to any of customers’ cars, I would have known.”
Browne and Christou were scheduled to appear before the zoning board on Monday but the meeting was cancelled.
“When we get the chance, we will present a traffic study that we’ve conducted and hopefully that satisfies the traffic concerns that they (zoning board) have,” Browne said.