Murphy’s, the watering hole at 107 Main Street in New Paltz, could be getting a big makeover. Gina and Edward Carroll, New Paltz alumnae in the process of relocating back to the village, are looking to buy Murphy’s and convert it into a piano bar featuring music from artists like Billy Joel and Elton John. They laid out their vision during a pre-application meeting with Village of New Paltz Planning Board members. During a pre-application discussion, planning board members and their attorney lay out questions that will likely be asked, allowing for better preparation and ideally a shorter review process.
The plan would involve doing a considerable amount of maintenance and cosmetic improvement around the property, and putting in an additional outdoor seating deck behind the building. The second-floor bathrooms would be brought to ground level as part of the effort to make the building fully accessible. The kitchen would be upgraded, as well. All the work could take more than six months to complete, and that’s what makes it complicated. There are several special-use permits in effect for this lot. Special uses last as long as they are used and can be passed down to new owners repeatedly. Stop doing that special thing for 180 days, though, and the permit goes away. In this case, these are permits for outdoor dining, mixed-use business and residential apartments and for operating a bar; the Carrolls’ plans are dependent on these permits and they were trying to gauge the likelihood of having them granted again before they moved ahead with their plans. What they were told is that building inspector Cory Wirthmann will make the determination on what permits are needed based on their application.
According to Gina O’Brien-Carroll, the couple expects that diners will continue to prefer eating outside even after the pandemic is over. At the meeting on February 2, Brian Keenan, the owner of McGillicuddy’s said much the same when discussing the idea of a cafe with outdoor seating near the municipal parking lot. While neither concept has been turned into a formal application, this could be suggesting a new trend in New Paltz dining.