A new restaurant rises on Main St. in New Paltz

A Greek restaurant will occupy the first two floors of the new building where Yanni’s once stood, with an apartment for the owner taking up the top floor. (Julie O’Connor | New Paltz Times)

A Greek restaurant will occupy the first two floors of the new building where Yanni’s once stood, with an apartment for the owner taking up the top floor. (Julie O’Connor | New Paltz Times)

After months of no visible action, steel girders are now poking above the construction barriers at 51 Main Street, where Yanni’s Greek restaurant once stood. This project was approved by the New Paltz village planning board more than two years ago. This will be a larger building than what was demolished. While narrow, it will extend farther back than the old Yanni’s, according to village code enforcement officer Bryant Arms. The two parking spots that were directly behind the old structure will be relocated.

The steel girders currently visible are for a second floor, with a third higher story planned that will stand entirely above the historic house on the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, lately Neko Sushi and once site of the legendary Homestead bar. A Greek restaurant will occupy the first two floors of the new building, with an apartment for the owner taking up the top floor. From the large windows planned for the western side, Arms noted, the occupants will have a nice view of the Shawangunk Ridge.

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The bottom floor of the new 51 Main will technically be a cellar, because more than half of it will be beneath the ground. The kitchen and food preparation will take place on this level. A dumbwaiter system is intended to deliver the food to either the first or second floor, both of which will have seating for diners.

The number of seats depends on the final layout, Arms said, which has not yet been determined. Part of the seating area for the second floor will be on a covered porch at the back of the building.

The top floor will have a deck overlooking Main Street, a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom, accessible via a private entrance. Because the blank walls facing near neighbors will offset the plate glass windows which allow for views from the second and third floors, the building will meet Energy Star standards.

After construction is complete, the pedestrian alley will once again be made available. From the outside, the building will look to be made of brick and glass, although Arms said that stucco will face adjacent structures. According to Arms, the building’s owner has a steel-fabrication company which is making all the beams.

That Neko Sushi has closed is no coincidence, Arms confirmed. The adjacent two lots were once a single parcel, and there was a sewer line servicing the Neko building which, unbeknownst to anyone, crossed the property line. “When it was subdivided, the plans showed their sewer line going to North Chestnut,” Arms said. The line “was not where it was expected,” said Arms, a not uncommon problem in the village, where sewer lines were once run by private individuals and their locations are sometimes unknown. Without an easement to show where the line actually was, the owner of Neko chose not to invest in repairs. The building has since been sold, and the new owner has rectified the problem.

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