UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Applicant optimistic about Southport RR cafe plans

Friday, February 24, 2012

Applicant optimistic about Southport RR cafe plans

Fairfield Citizen 2/24/12
Josh Fried, who wants to open a Parisian-style cafe in a building at the Southport Railroad Station, was feeling optimistic as he left Thursday night's meeting with the town Parking Authority.
"I'm hoping soon. Hopefully, we'll open soon," Fried said.
The Parking Authority didn't approve a lease with Fried on Thursday night, but issues that remained with a draft of the lease didn't seem significant, according to Mary Kay Frost, the authority's chairwoman.
"I don't think any of the things that were brought up were very difficult," Frost said toward the end of the discussion.
Fried's proposal to open "Cafe Society" has drawn opposition from Southport residents who live nearby and who are concerned about the cafe's hours of operation, the sale of alcohol and the potential that the cafe will turn into a "biker bar." However, no one from the neighborhood attended Thursday night's meeting to object to Fried's plan.
During the meeting, Fried said he had reached out to neighbors, but thinks they don't want anything to open in the depot building. "It's like they wanted nothing. I spent a lot of money [on attorneys] to talk to them, but at the end of the day, they wanted nothing. They didn't want anything in the space," he said.
Fried, who lives in Fairfield, said he had collected about 300 signatures on petitions and emails from rail commuters who support his plan to open a cafe on the New York-bound side of the Southport Railroad Station, which he indicated dwarfs the number of people who oppose it.
Fried said his cafe would occupy about 640 square feet of the building, which was rebuilt several years ago after a fire destroyed the former building. He said his cafe would occupy far less space than Paci Restaurant, which leases space in a building on the New Haven-bound side of the Southport Railroad Station. "It's small, it's all small," he said of his proposed cafe. READ MORE:

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