January 2, 2013

York Street neighbors to fight restaurant plan

They fear a second new eatery in the area will lead to disruptions like those tied to Popeye's.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

The former site of Popeye’s Ice House, left, on the corner of Brackett and York streets in Portland, is being converted into a new restaurant. There is also a proposal to open a restaurant at the building next door, at 227 York St., which is a single-family residence.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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The Reiters cited that previous approval in their application.

At the time, residents supported waiving the parking requirement for 231 York St. because they simply wanted to have a nicer establishment in the area, said Rosanne Graef, president of the West End Neighborhood Association.

"There was a feeling at that point that anything would be better than Popeye's," Graef said.

The opening of a new restaurant at 231 York St. has been slow going. The building was recently sold to Peter Verrill, who owns the Foreside Tavern in Falmouth, and it is expected to open this spring as Outlier Eatery, with about 50 seats.

Residents would like to see how the increased traffic and parking demand from that restaurant affect their neighborhood before granting other exceptions.

"It just doesn't seem to be a good spot for more waivers, especially since the one restaurant that's going in where Popeye's was hasn't even opened yet," said Graef, noting that parking on nearby streets is already restricted because of the width of the streets. "We don't even know what the impact of those waivers is," she said.

Like others, Shelton said she fears that increased commercial uses threatens the fabric of the West End neighborhood.

"This is a neighborhood," she said. "It should stay a neighborhood."

Neither the Reiters, who requested a two-year waiver since their construction plans were not finalized, nor Stella Hernandez, the co-owner of Bar Lola who is listed as the applicant's representative, could be reached for comment Monday.

 

Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @randybillings

 

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