By Grace McQuade
A new shop, Matty’s Italian Ices and Gelato, wants to open at 360 Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park, the former location of Village Valet Cleaners on the southeast corner of Linden Avenue.
Zoning laws in the Village of Floral Park require that any retail store that prepares, stores or sells food must be issued a special use permit after a public hearing conducted by the Board of Trustees.
“On behalf of the Village of Floral Park, we are very happy that you’re considering opening a business here,” village Mayor Dominick Longobardi said.
Dennis Lawrence, vice president of Matty’s Italian Ices and Gelato Inc., and his architect, Robert Keyloun of Bobby K Architects in Bellerose Village, said the establishment will exclusively sell Italian ices and gelato.
When asked after the meeting why he chose to call his shop Matty’s, Lawrence said that it is his 22-year-old son’s name. While his son will have no role in running the business, he thinks the name is “catchy,” he said.
Keyloun said the 35-foot-by-18-foot space will seat up to six patrons, with the majority of the business focused on counter and standing service. He also said they hope to open soon now that the warm weather has arrived.
Lawrence said he plans to have four to six employees during hours of operation, which will be Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lawrence said the store will only have ice machines on the premises and that he doesn’t plan to use the basement for operations.
When asked by the trustees if there are going to be any unique renovations in converting the space from a dry cleaners to an ice cream shop, the applicants said there will be no major overhauls and that all of the upgrades are cosmetic.
When asked how deliveries will be handled, Lawrence said that they should be twice a week through a side door. Customers will only use the front entrance and make purchases inside the store as there will be no window service.
As for garbage pickup and storage, Lawrence said they are “open-minded.” They plan to get rid of it on their own on a daily basis to keep the store “clean and neat,” but they will also consider putting a trash container outside on Jericho Turnpike at Longobardi’s suggestion.
Longobardi said the board would postpone a decision on the application until all parties hear from the Buildings Department.