Tuesday, July 26, 2016


St. James' Gate moved a step closer to creating a sidewalk cafe in front of its Maplewood Village location with the ability to serve alcoholic beverages last week when the Township Committee approved the move last week.

The TC, acting as the local Alcohol Beverage Control Board, voted, 3-2, to allow the restaurant to serve its own alcoholic beverages outside. TC members India Larrier and Marlon Brownlee opposed the move.

See the resolution HERE.

Currently, several other eateries have sidewalk cafes, such as Arturo's and Cactus Charley, but residents must bring their own adult beverages. This would be the first such allowance of drinks served by the establishment.

The resolution would limit the sidewalk cafe service to 11 p.m., with last call at 10 p.m. The inside service would remain open until 2 a.m.  

But while the outdoor cafe alcohol service was approved, the issue of whether St. James Gate, owned by James Meade, had the right to set up an outdoor cafe is still unresolved. 

Meade appeared at the meeting, as did an attorney for his landlord, Glenn Sussman, who opposes the idea. Sussman has said he owns the sidewalk so he must approve the idea, while Meade has said Sussman is just trying to force him to pay more for such approval.

"The owner of the building has refused to sign the application," Meade said.

Sussman's attorney, Mark Tolstoi, said, "I do think this is premature," adding that his client "has a fair amount of liability and the placement of these and serving of alcohol presents increased liability to the owner of that property."

The issue of sidewalk ownership will be resolved by Township Administrator Joe Manning and depending on that determination, the sidewalk cafe would still need to be approved by the Township.