A LETTER FROM THE COUCH TOMATO
November 19, 2006
Dear Manayunk (Business Owners & Neighbors):
My name is Craig Mosmen, Owner of The Couch Tomato Café, in Manayunk. My business partner Michael Cassano and I felt it was necessary to inform the local area of our intent to obtain your support regarding our business plan for the upcoming year.
Michael and I have worked diligently to establish our business by pulling a promising market type of families and business professionals into the Manayunk area. Several years have now passed and we are happy with the impact that our business has had on the community and enjoy the positive feedback we receive from all of you on a regular basis. We have also strived to give back to many of the local schools, churches, and non-profit organizations in Manayunk / Roxborough by donating in excess of $10,000 per year, relating to a wide variety of annual causes. We understand the importance of giving back to the community and plan to continue as our business grows.
Entering our fourth year, we have decided to work toward growing our dinner business by extending more seating into the 2nd & 3rd floor of our building, located at 102 Rector Street. Our plans are to increase the seating capacity by approximately 50 people, by June of 2007. The design layout has been developed by a very talented local architect, John Darling Wolf from Atelier Design. John Darling Wolf has created a very artistic, up-scale, and comfortable interior design plan incorporating a variety of both booth and table seating, dim-lit pendant lighting, a gallery of original oil paintings, as well as a mezzanine area, high ceilings, and fire place for a great overall atmosphere. This expansion would affect only the upstairs portion of our building, with plans of maintaining the 1st floor café as-is and its unique-to-the-area quick-service and self-seating style of higher quality food.
Continued on page 2
222-230 GREEN LANE
A special meeting was held Monday, November 20 at North Light Community Center where architect and builder, Kevin Monaghan, presented plans for 7 homes at the corner of Silverwood and Green Lane. The plans consisted of six single family homes and one two-family home. The two-family home is a smaller unattached home at the up-hill end of the Green Lane row.
Two homes will face Silverwood and five homes will face Green Lane. Mr. Monaghan owns a twin across the street that contains six apartments. The lot is currently used for parking for his tenants. The lot currently contains about 11 cars. Six cars belong to his tenants on Green Lane, three are Monaghan's, and two are from other neighbors. They will all be displaced. There are about 20 garages lining Green Lane up from the lot. Some of which are available but not owned by Mr. Monaghan. The factory style single homes will have one-car garages in the front. The two-family home will have a two-car garage.
About 10 neighbors attended the meeting. The consensus was favorable. Two complained about the factory style of the buildings and there was one complaint about parking. The zoning hearing for the project was November 29. MNC's position was to support the development except for the multi-family home. They asked that all seven be single family homes. Below is a rendering of the homes facing Green Lane.
|COUCH TOMATO (continued from page 1)
The goal is to offer a more inviting scene for our target market of families and business professionals that are simply visiting Manayunk and looking for another neat place to eat. We believe that incorporating the overall theme similar to a California Pizza Kitchen (King of Prussia Mall), of sit-down dining that focuses on a personal gourmet pizza menu, and a limited beer & wine menu, would work well in this town.
Due to our focus on increasing our sit-down dinner business we see the importance of including the ability to serve a limited variety of beer and wine with our food menu. Therefore, we will sign a deed restriction in order to show our commitment to our plan and our neighboring businesses and residents, while still avoiding the potential of increasing or provoking any late-night activity whatsoever. [A deed restriction is a legal contract able to enforce an agreed upon set of regulations or restrictions for a specific property]. This deed restriction will state that we will not serve alcohol past 11:30pm.
It is important to note that our expansion will not even include a standard bar. We will be focusing strictly on serving our sit-down guests primarily via wait staff. More importantly we believe it is noteworthy to reiterate that we are not a new company but a respected part of the community. We are merely aiming to enhance our dining experience to many residents and visitors who already enjoy our establishment.
Our business contributes a significant amount of activity for the town of Manayunk. In following our long-term plans for our business, this expansion would be essential for our long-term existence in Manayunk which would benefit us and therefore this entire town.
We truly appreciate all of you who have voluntarily come to us voicing your support of these expansion plans. By making our plans public, expressing our interest in growing our sit-down dinner business (5pm-11pm), and impressing our willingness to sign a deed restriction proving our commitment to avoiding the risks associated with late-night business, we hope this whole area will be glad that we chose these expansion plans in Manayunk as our next step.
Although we have been offered much support thus far, we will formally present this information to the Manayunk Development Corporation and the Manayunk Neighborhood Council the first week of December at their individual monthly (public) meetings. Local support from neighboring business owners and residents is essential for all issues. It is very important that you support us in any way that you can, whether you send a letter, attend the town meetings, or simply call and make us aware of your thoughts. We would like to obtain your ideas or input on this topic as well. We would be happy to meet and discuss any issues that you would like to speak about further.
This is a very solid and important issue for Manayunk, so please contribute your thoughts. Feel free to reach me on my cell phone at: (267) 971-4351.
Thank you! We need to do our best to keep Manayunk going in the right direction!
Craig Mosmen | Michael Cassano
The Couch Tomato Café
|Main Street Madness
Main Street retailers and restaurants are fed up with the late night weekend chaos on Main Street. MNC is working with Manayunk Development Corporation to develop "Good Business" guidelines for restaurants, eating, and drinking establishments.
4330-32 Main Street
The new owners of 4330-32 Main Street are going ahead with their plans for a late night burrito bar. They have refused to comprise on their plans to serve food till 2 AM. They have described a long term plan to also sell beer but are not currently applying for a liquor license. Without limitations on
|their hours and a long-term commitment to the community, MNC
is opposing their request for a variance. Their zoning hearing is 11/29
so stay tuned for updates.
222-230 Green Lane
By the time you read this 4330 Green Lane will have had their zoning hearing. Stay tuned for updates.
4247 Main Street
Fishtank has closed and a new restaurant, Solé, has recently opened. Fishtank was BYOB but the word on the street is that Solé will be going for a liquor license.
Kevin called the meeting to order at 7:30
3 Rector Street No news from zoning regarding plans for a five-story condo building at 3 Rector Street formerly known as Labov's plumbing.
4247 Main Street The former Fishtank Restaurant is being renovated into an Italian Restaurant. It is reported new owners will seek a liquor license.
112 Roxborough Ave at Roxborough and Cresson. The owner filed for partial demolition for redevelopment. Zoning and Historical Commissions ruled yesterday but we have not yet received results. (Editors note: the applicants did not show up at the Commission.)
114 Levering the site of the Asian Pearl that never opened. Frank McGarvey seeks to open a steak shop with one apartment upstairs to be owner occupied. There are now two apartments upstairs, one 3-bedroom, one 1-bedroom
The Steak Shop will not be a destination restaurant so it will not add to parking problems. It will have local deliveries only. Smoke will vent to side alley.
The facility will offer public restrooms. The owners will accept responsibility to maintain cleanliness including indoor storage of trash. Awnings, signs & lighting will conform to MDC standards. Mr. McGarvey intends to add value and safety to the neighborhood. Mr. McGarvey is willing to hire teenagers to clean the neighborhood. He plans to have 9 -12 stools with window seating.
The building has deed restriction with MDC so it can only be open nightly only until 11:00. Mr. McGarvey seeks hours 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. five nights a week, and 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 A.M. two nights a week. He will concede to 2:00 A.M.. No alcohol on premises
The owner of Sorrentino's said this will be a draw to the drunks and will increase litter and urination in the neighborhood. He believes this will be the wrong kind of draw to the neighborhood.
Several neighbors spoke up about this being the wrong time to open a late night business. Neighbors want to be rid of late night nuisance properties.
Discussion was held about what hours would be acceptable. Neighbors unanimously agreed to enforce current deed restriction closing at 11:00 P.M.
4330-32 Main Street (Formerly Lucky Jeans) Maggie Austin and Will Keaton seek to open a Burrito Bar of 1,000 sq. ft. on one floor. Hopefully, they can open a deck in the rear of the building on the towpath. They will have an office in the basement with glass in rear of building to enhance the tow path. A burrito will cost about $6.00
They seek to be open 7 days with the following hours: Sun - Thurs. 11:00 - 10:00 and Friday, Saturday until 2:00 A.M.. The vegan friendly burrito bar, called Machismo, will sell Mexican beer but no take out beer.
Indoors will feature Mexican theme tile work. They would like to have outdoor sidewalk seating.
Trash storage will be inside with pickup at 6:30 (which is illegal) so they agreed to 7:00.
It didn't take long for neighbors to step up and object to beer sales. Neighbors complained about sidewalk seats which make walking on Main Street difficult. Next neighbors talked about limiting hours. Neighbors insisted on no liquor, and time restraints
Main Street Nuisance Late night activity is at an all-time high. Bars are closing early because of criminal activity on the street. It was reported there had been a shooting on Main Street two weeks ago at Grape Street. It was further
|Manayunk Welcomes Councilwoman Carol Campbell
Carol Campbell was recently sworn in as our new councilperson. We welcome her and her staff to the neighborhood and look forward to working with them.
Folks can contact Ms. Campbell at City Hall, 215-686-3416 or Mary Turtle in the Roxborough office, 215-685-2549.