|Marked area shows roundabout|
When chef-owner John Bove closed the restaurant in June 2011 after a 27-year run there and more than a half century in the business, the area lost his friendly presence and culinary chops. Since then, the property has been up for sale, and has become a rather forlorn looking place. Even the setting has been radically changed by the creation of one of the town's insane number of roundabouts.
Now, Ralph Passonno Jr., president of Uncle Sam Auctions in Troy which has been trying to sell the 2.6-acre site, says a plan to rezone the heavily-traveled Route 9 along which the former restaurant sits will attract investors and invigorate the economy.
He's optimistic because Malta is working on the zoning change for a section of Routes 9 and 67 on the southern edge of town. That is part of a push by new Town Supervisor Vincent DeLucia to help convince investors to buy and redevelop properties like the one that Passonno is trying to sell.
As noted in a report in the Business Review, a zoning change would be a response to a growing demand for more commercially-zoned property in the sector that would allow the construction of hotels, restaurants, retail shops, brew pubs, fitness centers, and other commercial projects in areas currently restricted to residential development.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, February 1, at town hall on proposed zoning changes for a 1.5-mile section of the highway.