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8 Seats Not Enough for Armonk Restaurants

ARMONK, N.Y. – The North Castle Town Board went out for ice cream after its work session Friday, which was the first step in rewriting a town law that limits restaurant seating.

The board walked over to Hall of Scoops, whose owner, Billy Ceisler, is about to open a new restaurant at 387 Main St. Under the existing town law, he’ll be allowed to have eight indoor and eight outdoor tables, which he doesn’t think is enough to sustain the business.

Board member Diane DiDonato-Roth arranged the ice-cream session to alert fellow board members and Supervisor Howard Arden of Ceisler’s predicament.

“We need to expand the carry-out legislation that allows eight seats, and I’d like to arrange for at least 16,” she said.

Adam Kaufman, North Castle’s director of planning, said the Town Board could rewrite the law to allow for additional seats. He also noted that restaurants are allotted seats based on their compliance with town parking regulations, which require one space for every 200 square feet of retail space. The new law could simply allow additional tables for restaurants that comply with the parking law, he said.

Ceisler plans to open his new business May 1, so there may not be time to rewrite the law by then. He said the store design will be based on the number of tables he’s allowed, so it will be affected by the eight-table requirement.

He wants more tables but is happy with the Town Board’s effort to write a new law.

“We would like to get double the number of seats that were preapproved to satisfy the need of our customers, but I’m excited if the town makes changes that will help me make the business successful,” he said.

DiDonato-Roth urged the board to take action.

“The government  needs to come out of the boardroom and go on Main Street to solve small-business problems," she said. "We need to make sure small businesses have every advantage government can give them to succeed.”

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