A new Colombian style restaurant will be coming to Mineola next spring after the village board unanimously approved owner John Velez’s application request at last Wednesday’s public hearing.
Noches de Colombia will be located at 204 Jericho Tpke., where the former Azzurro’s Pizzeria once stood. The family owned and operated restaurant already has 19 different locations in New York and New Jersey in Nanuet and North Bergen.
Velez said that he plans to renovate most of the inside of the building, which will seat approximately 109 customers. There will also be a bakery in the front of the restaurant where customers can order beef patties or pandebonos, a soft baked cheese bread, which is a staple in the restaurant’s franchise.
“The designs that we use for the restaurant all look alike,” said Velez. “We allow walk-ins but if you plan on dining and staying, you can sit in the back. We don’t open one section and close another one. We operate all day. If you want to sit in the front or the back, you have options.”
Noches de Colombia will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Although it is advertised as a bar and restaurant, Velez said that the bar will close at 10 p.m.
“We never do bottle service,” said Velez. “When we close at 10, everyone leaves.”
Since the new restaurant is close to residential homes, the issue of parking was brought up by resident Gregory Hunter who lives on Banbury Road, which is the street behind the restaurant.
“There are present business owners in that parking lot that park their cars all day in front of our houses on the south side of Banbury Road,” said Hunter. “There is now a situation where cars are parked before 8 a.m. They’re there all day. The situation is out of control already.”
To help curb the parking problem, deputy mayor Paul Pereira suggested Velez’s employees consider mass transit to get to work.
“We are a transit hub. We have the Mineola railroad that is literally within walking distance,” explained Pereira. “You have a number of bus lines on Jericho Turnpike and Hillside Avenue. I would suggest that you offer any potential employees the option of taking public transportation, which would certainly be cheaper than feeding the meter all day long and inconveniencing the neighbors. They can get to the Mineola train station, which is a 10 minute walk.”
Velez said one of the main reasons why he chose to open his restaurant in Mineola was because of the vast parking that’s readily available.
“One of the reasons that we picked the location was because there is also a big parking space in front of the firehouse,” said Velez. “In the past we’ve had problems where our employees park in the street. We try to move to places to accommodate people who can move in and out and they don’t have to park and annoy somebody else.”
To see what else Noches de Colombia has to offer, visit their website www.nochesdecolombia.com.
The village board also approved Jericho Laundromat, which is currently located at 150 Jericho Tpke., to move to its new location at 170 Jericho Tpke. The new location will continue to keep its business hours from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
The next village board meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.