June 27, 2022

Chester Planning and Zoning Sets Aug. 8 Public Hearing on New Main Street Restaurant

CHESTER— The planning and zoning commission has scheduled an Aug. 8 public hearing on a special permit application for a new restaurant at 69 Main St. in the downtown village. The public hearing convenes at 7:30 p.m. in the large meeting room at town hall.

Monroe Properties LLC and local resident John Schroeder are seeking approval for a restaurant in the ground floor of the three-story building at 69 Main St. The restaurant, serving wood-fired pizza, salads and gelato, would be operated by Jonathan Rapp, owner and operator of the popular River Tavern restaurant that is also located on Main Street.

The restaurant would be open seven days per week from 4-11 p.m. It would have 30 seats inside, with up to 20 outdoor seats for seasonal outdoor dining. There would also be take out service. In a statement submitted with the application, the applicants suggest that because the restaurant would only be open evenings, when most downtown shops are closed, existing on-street parking and “underused public lots” on Maple Street and at the entrance to the nearby Laurel Hill Cemetery would “more than adequate to support the demands of this proposed use.”

The 69 Main St. building abuts the former town hall property at 65 Main St., and had been purchased by the town in the early 1990s in preparation for a planned expansion of the town hall building. Residents decided in 2003 to construct a new town hall in an existing building at 203 Middlesex Avenue (Route 154), and the 69 Main St. property was alter purchased by Schroeder.

The commission has also continued to the Aug. 8 meeting a public hearing that opened July 11 on a special permit application from Chester Point Real Estate LLC to construct a new 5,561-square-foot building at the Chester Marina property, 72 Railroad Avenue. The proposed new building that would replace a smaller existing building would house a seasonal restaurant, along with an office and display area.