The buzz in Greenport this winter often centers on its abundance of eateries. Indeed, Greenport has plenty of restaurants with a count of about 40 within a few square miles. Can so many restaurants survive the competition? And, is there a growing imbalance of retail versus restaurants?
While the culinary options please many residents, others remain concerned about a perceived lack of balance between restaurants and retail. And, of course there are parking concerns. Village officials considering new parking time limits and increased enforcement. But, the bottom line is that the 700 or so designated spots near the commercial district just isn’t enough to accommodate the growing popularity of the seaside village as a tourist destination. A suggestion for a parking garage was briefly considered but is cost prohibitive. Village residents would see hefty tax increases for construction and maintenance.
A single post on Facebook by Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips with regard to parking and growth prompted nearly 100 comments within a few days. Opinions vary – but one consistent theme runs through: a master plan for the village is warranted. But, is it too late?
Celebrity sightings, throngs of tourists, busses filled with sightseers from New York City and Boston. Greenport is popular – and with good reason. The beauty of this quaint village is evident from the parks and carousel to the architecture to the marinas and water views. And, its reputation as a foodie destination is also a draw.
But, the question at hand Is this – is there a tipping point at which too many bars and restaurants and increasingly limited retail commercial creates an imbalance? And, if so, are we there yet?
Another angle to consider is this–one longtime shop owner told us she has seen a drastic decrease in customers during winter months in the past five years. Why? More second homes, more seasonal rental homes, fewer year round residents means fewer customers in the off-season.
But, back to the restaurants: there are about 40 places to eat in the greater Greenport community by our count – more than 30 typical sit-down restaurants, two coffee shops, three ice cream shops, a bakery, two tea shops, three delicatessens, several cocktail and wine bars, a brewery, two local distilling bars. And, two additional restaurants (Pearl and Demarchelier) are in the planning stages. Further, Claudio’s’ is seeking expansion and reportedly an additional 100 seats.
All of this culinary wonder exists within the greater Greenport community, about 3 square miles, and with a village population of 2,200 as of the last census.
We would love your opinions on the issue. Please post them below or on our social media pages…..