P&G’s, a cornerstone of New Paltz, was originally constructed as a 50’ x 28’ two-story building in the spring of 1900. Now, owner Mike Beck is looking to expand it inside and out.
Beck seeks to expand the cramped kitchen of the restaurant by pushing into the adjacent barbershop and creating a prep kitchen underneath the dining area, currently hanging over two parking spots out back. Additionally, space along the bar would also be increased.
Back in June of 1900, the establishment originally opened as The Casino. The original owner, Mr. Steen had patterned The Casino after the famous Boardmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
Beck bought P&G’s from his father Edwin in 1985, and undertook extensive renovations in 1994 to make the building’s exterior reflect its original appearance as The Casino in the early 1900s. Beck continues to run P&G’s and is frequently joined by one of his children as hostess or waiter staff. In 2016, Beck’s daughter Kristen began working full time as the general manager.
According to Beck, P&G’s will be expanding into the space that is currently occupied by Ricci’s Barbershop, a tenant of Beck’s. The kitchen will be expanded into roughly half of that space and the bar will be extended into a smaller portion of that space incorporating a waiting area as well.
Beck’s plan to close off the open area underneath the dining area to create a food prep and storage area will ultimately eliminate the P&G’s parking lot. But senior project manager of Eco Builders Inc., Joseph Buglino, has hope that the parking situation could be improved despite the loss of parking spaces. Buglino proposed to make the parking section one-way-only, and have drivers exit through a private lot off Church Street. According to Buglino, this arrangement could prevent the dangers of backing up cars onto North Front Street.
“That will allow us to increase some of our cooking equipment in the kitchen which will allow us to put meals out more efficiently,” Beck said.
Beck originally applied for his plans for expansion at the Village Planning Board meeting on Sept. 4. He is currently applying for funding.
When Beck presented to the Village Planning Board last month, they had to do a site plan review and there was a change of use from the barbershop to restaurant space, which according to Beck is ongoing.
Buglino’s proposal to use Church Street as an exit was met with controversy. While Beck is already collaborating with his neighbors to implement a one-way sign, he believes there should be more changes to improve traffic flow. Rich Suoto and board chair Eve Waltermaurer both expressed doubt towards Buglino’s proposal. Suoto pointed out that while Front Street is already a through street, the one-way section of Church Street is not.
The public hearing for the proposed project was originally scheduled for Tuesday Sept. 18, but was rescheduled for Tuesday Oct. 2 at Village Hall.
Beck expects to begin this project in January, closing P&G’s on Jan. 2 and reopening on Jan. 17.