MAMARONECK — Bowing to community opposition, the owner of a shuttered Italian restaurant in Rye Neck has yanked his plan to replace it with a car wash — and is considering a new restaurant for the site instead.
Robert Caputo withdrew his appeal before the village Zoning Board in early May after neighbors complained that such a business would snarl traffic and endanger pedestrians, particularly school-bound children.
The car wash was to be built at the site of Caputo’s failed Limoncello restaurant at 974 E. Boston Post Rd.
“He did not want to continue pursuing a project that would upset the neighbors — even if he could show that their concerns were not justified,” Caputo’s lawyer, Joseph Messina, said.
The owner is now “rethinking his options” for the site, including opening a restaurant, but has not finalized plans, Messina added.
Caputo bought the Ye Olde TollGate site several years ago and tried revitalizing a cash-strapped steakhouse there before closing it and opening Limoncello in fall 2009. That restaurant failed as well, closing in December.
Dan Natchez, a Mamaroneck-based environmental consultant who opposed the car wash, said there are other more suitable uses, including a restaurant or offices. Another idea is to allow two neighboring businesses, a fitness center and a hardware rental store, to expand into the property.
“We are not trying to be obstructionists,” Natchez said. “We desperately want to be proactive and help him find something that makes sense” for that property.
Caputo could not be reached for comment.
PHOTO: The closed Limoncello restaurant at 974 E. Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck on March 29, 2011. The restaurant’s owner has withdrawn his appeal to build a car wash on the property after dozens of neighbors spoke out against the plan. (TJN archives)