Slice of Bay Shore seeks to build on old Friendly’s site
At the latest Islip Town Planning Board meeting, the board reserved decision on an application seeking to build a new pizzeria named Slice of Bay Shore with outdoor seating on the site of the old Friendly’s located on 298 West Main Street, approximately 200 feet west of Lawrence Lane. The application was generally met with enthusiasm by residents in attendance, who felt that it would be a positive addition to the underdeveloped gateway to Bay Shore’s downtown.
The applicant, Giovanni Digirolamo, is no stranger to Bay Shore. He cooked for some time at Mamma Santina Pizza in Brightwaters, and is both well-known and well-liked by many people throughout the area.
According to Digirolamo’s wife, Alexis, the application calls for 84 total seats, with 60 inside and 24 outside. The hours of operation would be Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 a.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“The [outside] seating will be seasonal only,” said Alexis, who noted that the outdoor area would be enclosed by 4-foot evergreen buffers. “There will be no alcohol served outside nor any music. There will also be a refuse container outside to maintain cleanliness along with a landscape company to maintain upkeep.”
During the public comment portion, members of the public generally spoke in favor of the project.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Lawrence Lane resident Nick Aldo. “It’s a empty part of Bay Shore that’s been neglected, and there are abandoned buildings that have been there for quite some time.
“I want to eat in an area that’s relatively quiet and be outside at the same time,” said Aldo. “Also, living on that block, I think it’s very walk-able. With the library so close, people can choose to get books they want to read and walk close by to get something to eat.”
Brightwaters resident and village planning board member Frank Maffucci also commended the application, stating that it would add substance and character to its downtrodden surroundings.
“It’s an area that’s neglected and there are still vacant buildings right across from it,” said Maffucci. “This is a plus for everybody. The sound of the street in my opinion would be louder than the outdoor dining would be…I think it’s a perfect thing that we should approve.”
On the other hand, West Lane resident Tom Stringer – who lives directly adjacent to the property – had some concerns including noise, congestion, garbage buildup, and hours of operation.
“I too welcome the business to the community and certainly want to see it,” said Stringer. “However, as a neighbor and someone with two young children…I’m extremely concerned with the outdoor seating and the restrictions or lack of restrictions that might be put on it. People [could be] coming and going at anytime or hour of the evening with noise, [along with] the potential with road parking. I would argue that nowhere in Bay Shore – especially next to AAA zoning – is almost 30 percent of a business’s seating allowed to be outdoors.”
“I think at a minimum, significant further study needs to be done on this particular application,” added Stringer. “Delay this application until further due diligence can be conducted.”
Meanwhile, Donna Periconi, president of the Greater Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce, said that she hopes the proposal will ultimately be passed.
“Everyone knows John well and the kind of man he is, and I doubt he’d do anything to hurt his friends in Bay Shore and Brightwaters,” said Periconi. “We are fortunate that he’s willing to invest so much in this parcel, [especially] considering the squalor across the street. Hopefully, the residential community and the owner will work closely together to make it a successful business.”
The next Islip Town Planning Board meeting will take place on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
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