March 02, 2017
By Janee Law
The minds behind Northport Village’s John W. Engeman Theater unveiled last week plans to create an inn with a restaurant on Main Street in the village.
Owners Kevin O’Neill and Richard Dolce, managing director and producing artistic director of the theater respectively, presented the plan to Northport Village trustees during their Feb. 21 public meeting.
Plans call to take over 225 Main St., across the street and a few steps west of the theater, which was previously home to now-closed Danyell’s Kitchen and is now used for office space.
“It’s a very unique piece of property and it offers the ability to provide onsite parking,” O’Neill said in an interview Tuesday. He did not specify how many parking spaces could be provided. “The concept is to develop this building into a beautiful inn with a restaurant.”
The building currently scales the hill along Woodside Avenue and has half of a Dutch Colonial home peeking out its top.
“That house is just sticking out of the top of the rectangular roof — it’s cut off at the waist, basically. It’s in disrepair,” O’Neill said, adding that he wants to “renovate this building in a serious way.”
Northport Village Trustee Ian Milligan said Wednesday that the inn would be a good addition to the village.
“Years ago, there were many hotels in Northport, so I don’t think that it’s not in keeping with the feel of the village,” Milligan said. “Judging by Mr. O’Neill’s past projects, we know that he’s going to do a good job with a renovation like that.”
O’Neill said that both he and Dolce bought the building in 2016.
A rendering of the proposed inn depicts it as a three-story building inspired by The American Hotel in Sag Harbor. What’s been dubbed The Northport Inn would total around 20,000 square feet.
O’Neill said the first floor of the building would house a restaurant. The upper two floors would be a mix of rooms, and some office space for management.
“We’ll have much greater detail available as time goes on,” O’Neill added. “We’ll continue to work with the village on whatever they need from us to hopefully complete this.”
In order for the plans to move forward, village trustees need to adjust current commercial codes to accommodate inns and hotels, according to Milligan.
He added that the board is looking into making a change and the potential impact it could have.
“We’re going to see what we need to do to carefully move forward and do something that’s in the best interest of everyone,” Milligan said.
At their March 7 meeting, village trustees plan to schedule a public hearing on the potential code change for March 21, according to Milligan.