Planning Panel OKs Pasta, Gelato Shops

A storage shed for Martha Stewart prompts a field trip for a closer look.

Shops featuring Italian ice cream and homemade pasta won the Bedford planning board’s speedy approval Tuesday but Martha Stewart’s storage shed was put on hold for now.

More than two stories high and measuring 40 by 80 feet, the shed would be set back almost 700 feet from Girdle Ridge Road, where Stewart lives on 137 acres. While the shed’s dimensions—more than 20 feet high with a footprint larger than 2,500 square feet—are big enough to require a special-use permit, they do not violate the town’s zoning provisions.

None of Stewart’s neighbors spoke at a public hearing called to consider the application.

Still, concerns about potential wetlands intrusions prompted board members to schedule an on-site inspection for a week from Friday. “We’ve been involved with this large property several times,” Chairman Donald Coe said, “and we’d like to stay abreast.”   

Al dente, to go

Meeting in town hall instead of the usual town-annex site, board members installed the pasta store at 26-32 Valley Road in Katonah.

The Abbate brothers, Antonio and Alfredo—owners of Le Fontane Restaurant on Route 100—will include a variety of ravioli selections among the pasta and other gourmet ingredients sold at their store.

With pasta being made on the premises, board members expressed concern about water consumption—and, more importantly, its disposal. But, as member John Sullivan said of the Abbates, “They would be the first to know if they have an issue [with water].” If the use is excessive, he noted, “they’ll be pumping out their septic tank every three days.”

The board will revisit the store’s water use after a year’s operation, during which it will be allowed to sell from 9 a.m. to as late as 5 p.m.   
A retail outlet, the shop plans to open only five days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store will move into the site recently vacated by Scoops, an ice cream shop and longtime fixture on downtown Katonah’s social scene.

Sweet tooth, to go

Across town, the new Johnny Gelato will open at 132B Green Lane in Bedford Hills, opposite the ShopRite shopping plaza.

John Mallegol assured the board that his store—which sells but does not make its principal product on-site and provides neither table nor chair—would be stingy when it comes to water use. With throwaway spoons and cups, he noted, dishwashing will be nonexistent. Even the traditional ice cream scoop, requiring a rinse after each flavor, is gone, replaced by individual “gelato spatulas” for each tub of Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge or other gelato variety.

Mallegol also insisted that, based on his experience with a Johnny Gelato outlet in Kent, the Bedford Hills store’s three parking spaces will be sufficient. “There’s always room in front of the store,” he said.

Johnny Gelato’s approval was delayed for a time Tuesday while the board sought a way to fit the store into the area’s light-industry zone. On its face, the store fits the special café classification the town created in 2010 specifically to accommodate shops like Mallegol’s, retailing food but clearly not a restaurant. Cafés, however, are not permitted in a light-industry zone, so Johnny Gelato will do business as a retail outlet. The shop will be open seven days, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  




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