New Castle officials and a Mount Kisco restaurant owner are still locked in discussions about having the proprietor move into the town-owned building at the Chappaqua train station.
Councilman Adam Brodsky, the town board’s point person on the project, said there are a couple of outstanding issues regarding the structure that must still be resolved before there is a tenant for the site.
Town officials remain optimistic that Carla Gambescia, owner of Via Vanti!, an Italian cafe at the train station at Kirby Plaza in Mount Kisco, will sign a lease to move into the space.
Brodsky said the town is impressed with Gambescia’s plans and her Mount Kisco operation and is working diligently to make the arrangement work for both parties.
“It’s a tough space, believe it or not,” he said. “There are bathrooms in there and even though the building looks very large, the exterior makes it look larger. When you’re in there it’s a very tiny space. The historic nature of the building presents challenges for the proprietor. We’re trying to weigh the needs of not disturbing the building with Via Vanti’s needs to operate a business.”
It’s been nearly a year since Gambescia and another proprietor gave presentations before the prior town board pitching restaurant proposals for the now 112-year-old building. During the presentations last February, officials noted there would be challenges with the structure’s physical limitations coupled with the town’s requirement not to touch the building’s exterior.
At this point, Via Vanti! is the only business being considered for the site, Brodsky said.
Gambescia said her plan is to have indoor seating and about 12 to 16 seats outdoors during warm weather. The establishment would feature a mozzarella bar and coffee service for the morning commuters. There will also be take-out and on-site food service.
She’s optimistic about the prospects and said she would need about eight to 12 weeks to open once an agreement is reached. May 1 is the most recent target date for opening.
“It’d be the nicest outdoor seating in Westchester,” Gambescia promised.
Brodsky said having ViaVanti! operate at the site would be a positive change for the building and downtown, but the town and the owner want to make sure the business is successful.
“We’re enthusiastic to have an operator here in the train station and we think it would be a good change for the train station,” he said. “That’s kind of where we stand.”
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/