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West New York businesses consider outdoor dining

According to residents, the town has not been very responsive

New Pizza On the Block is located at 6415 Park Avenue. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

West New York businesses are looking to apply for outdoor dining.

Resident Frank Miqueli is the county committee person for his district in West New York. Miqueli addressed Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and the West New York Board of Commissioners at their June 22 meeting that some businesses had contacted him about outdoor dining. 

“I had some business owners reach out to me,” Miqueli said. “They wanted to do outdoor seating.” 

One of those businesses includes New Pizza On the Block at 6415 Park Avenue in West New York. 

“They were asking me if I could help out with figuring out what the application is,” he said.

Miqueli has tried to contact local officials on behalf of the businesses to no success. 

“I reached out to [Business Administrator] Luis Baez, and also the Health Department. I haven’t really gotten a response yet and it’s been a couple of weeks now. I’m trying to let the business owner know what the process is.”

According to Miqueli, he is helping the owner try to start the application process.

“I understand that there’s some sort of application that the administration is working on for business to apply for outdoor seating,” Miqueli said. “I was just bringing it up in this forum for him to get some sort of answer.” 

Officials ready to assist

Rodriguez thanked Miqueli and noted that Baez is aware of the situation. 

“Louis actually knows about this,” Rodriguez said. “Please send the request. He’s going to give you a call back.” 

Baez himself then addressed the matter, adding: “Any reference to the administration working on it is because of the change this year where code enforcement is no longer involved in the application, being that there’s no outside structures allowed or on street parking allowed for outside dining. We can go over the details offline, but if it’s New Pizza on the Block, I’m familiar with them and I’ll make sure the Health Department reaches out as soon as tomorrow.” 

In addition to New Pizza On the Block, Baez also encouraged Miqueli to inform him of the other businesses interested in outdoor dining. In response, Miqueli said one was Las Palmas at 6153 Bergenline Avenue. 

“They were kind of mentioning that they wanted it because they were bogged down,” Miqueli said. “I brought it up to them, and they said they thought it was stopped.” 

Other restaurants seek outdoor dining

Baez noted he had already spoken to Las Palmas regarding outdoor dining, but would reach out again.

“I actually spoke with the owner of Las Palmas, but they were one of the establishments that had done outdoor dining last year,” Baez said. “While it won’t be the same as during the pandemic, they didn’t express an interest in doing outdoor dining again this year. But I’ll follow up with them again in case something has changed.” 

First instated to help small business amid the height of the pandemic in 2020, the township recently amended outdoor dining regulations in May. The town enacted some restrictions such as the use of parking spaces for outdoor seating, but also expanded other regulations for outdoor dining on sidewalks. Read the ordinance online in full at: westnewyorknj.org/_Content/pdf/ordinances/Ord0522.pdf.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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