Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 31 December 2010 00:00
Get ready for some fresh made burritos, quesadillas and vegetable wraps. Chipotle Mexican Grill is coming to Mineola.
The board of trustees unanimously approved the permit for the restaurant in an empty storefront in the shopping center on the northeast corner of Herricks Road and Jericho Turnpike. The Grill Will be next to Harmon’s, which also includes a TD Bank, Panera Bread as well as other storefronts.
Chipotle legal council Thomas Pantelis presented the application to the board, saying that the shopping center is an appropriate place for the restaurant because there is ample parking and there are other food uses in the center from Panera and Maxxels. Pantelis pointed out that the board had previously approved the Panera eatery in 2004.
“Permits have been previously issued by this board for restaurant uses in that shopping center,” Pantelis said at a recent public hearing. “I think this, in some ways, is a different situation than the board may typically face. This center is one of the few shopping centers in the village.”
The shopping center has approximately 216 parking spaces, according to Pantelis. He said no outer construction would be required in that the restaurant would use existing empty retail space. “It will be a nice complement to the restaurants and eateries in that shopping center,” Pantelis stated. “The board is very familiar with the site. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some of the members at Panera. I know I go there frequently.”
Chipotle real estate manager Laurie Madzin said that there are currently six Chipotle restaurants open on Long Island, with a new location to open soon in Great Neck. She also said the restaurant would be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“It’s growing in popularity as we expand to the Long Island area,” she said. “The company started in 1994 and has approximately 1,000 stores across the country.”
Then Mineola Mayor Jack Martins said that garbage removal was a big topic discussed among the board. Martins wanted a clear outline as to when and where the garbage would be picked up and how it would be stored in between as well as deliveries.
“It’s probably cleaner to pick the garbage up in the back of the establishment,” Pantelis said. Martins agreed.
Deliveries will be made through the front of the restaurant since they will occur before the restaurant is open. Pantelis said he recognized that the area behind the store is tight and that it only makes sense to make deliveries in the front.
“Fumes will be vented through the roof and directed away from the residential community,” Martins said.
Tricia Purdy lives behind the shopping center and spoke at the meeting. She was more worried about through traffic than the smell. In fact, she said, “I’m happy that the exhaust won’t be facing my house, but who knows? Maybe I’ll like the exhaust,” prompting a laugh from the board and those attendance.
Her home sits north of the shopping center and said cars are constantly taking her street to avoid Jericho Turnpike and Herricks Road for “a quick second.”
“I just hope that when people do take-out, when they leave Clarissa Road, they’re not making that left turn on Beebe Road and driving all through our neighborhood just to get somewhere.”
Martins said the board would look into it. Another funny moment came when Martins questioned Michael Korff, the property landowner.
As part of the approval for the TD Bank in 2004, Korff promised to build a clock as kind of a gateway into Mineola. Although the clock was built, it has never worked. Korff responded that it would be taken care of.
“When we approved the application for the TD Bank, there was a commitment made to put up a clock tower,” Martins said stifling his laughter. “The specifics are a little vague to me, but I do recall part of that was a commitment that the clock would also…work. Remember that?”