Plan for rooftop dining stirs up controversy in Long Island town of Northport

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Kristin Thorne reports on the battle over a restaurant's plan for rooftop dining.

A long-established pub on Long Island is running into resistance over its plan for open rooftop dining.

The Suffolk County village of Northport already bans outdoor dining and is against the proposal.

For the past two years the owner's of Skipper's Pub in downtown Northport have been trying to turn their roof into a rooftop restaurant.

"All of a sudden a few weeks ago I read in the paper the village board of trustees wants to change the law - no rooftop cafe, no rooftop dining, period," said Skipper's owner Paul Gallowitsch.

"I think it's unfair. I think it's discriminatory. I think it's arbitrary. It's very disheartening," said Skipper's owner Marie Gallowitsch.

This is all happening as the Gallowitsch's are waiting to hear back from the village's zoning board. It turned down their initial application.

"If they pass this law we basically don't have our appeal anymore so that's pretty upsetting," said Paul Gallowitsch Jr. of Skipper's. "We put so much time and passion into this, to know it could be gone at any moment is upsetting."

Northport Mayor George Doll says the purpose of the new law is to clarify the village's outdoor dining policy. He says the Gallowitsch's are trying to twist permitted sidewalk dining into rooftop dining.

"Since people like the Gallowitsch's could read the outdoor dining law and could somehow in their mind think they could have sidewalk dining on the roof, we should make it quite clear that sidewalk dining and outdoor dining is on the sidewalk and on the ground floor," said Doll.

"We don't want this village to become a party town which is what it's become on the weekends," said Northport resident Kathryn Llewellyn.

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newsrestaurantsuffolk county newsNorthport
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