NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Purdys' popular Farmer & the Fish restaurant wants to expand its dining area to the second floor to accommodate another 24 patrons. Current capacity downstairs is 65, including stools at the bar.
“Have you discussed this with the Health Department yet?” Cynthia Curtis, Planning Board chair, asked at last week's board meeting.
“No,” said Victor Solarik, architect for the restaurant’s owner, Edward Taylor. “We know we have hurdles to cross, but we’re willing to fight that battle. We thought we’d mention it to the Planning Board first.”
“Would you plan to use the existing staircase?” asked Curtis. Solarik said he would and that it would probably be reinforced.
The board members generally discussed precedents, remarking, “When it was the Box Tree, they had a few hotel rooms up there,” and, “The people who owned John-Michael’s had an apartment up there.”
Asked if there would be enough parking for another 24 guests, Solarik responded, “We can add another 17 spaces, though only 14 are required by code.”
Proposed plans also include a closed-in porch outside the take-out door. “It could provide additional handicap access,” said Solarik, “and we could display things there.” It would also be energy-effective with an air-lock entry.
Referring to the site plan, the board members asked, “What do you mean, here, by a ‘temporary’ greenhouse?”
“It will be a hoop structure in one of the former paddocks, enclosed with fabric in the winter months and used to grow vegetables for the restaurant,” Solarik explained. “In good weather it will be uncovered and used to grow flowers and vegetables.” A building permit has already been issued for the structure.
“It’ll be like a garden,” added Taylor.
Between the take-out service and the additional upstairs dining, Solarik estimated that another six employment opportunities would be created.