“We want to be open yesterday”: slow progress at the site of the former Vox restaurant in North Salem
The restaurant being built at the site of the former Vox restaurant in North Salem is not expected to open until mid to late October of this year, a notable delay from owner Elizabeth Miller’s original aim, according to officials involved in the building’s construction.
Joe Cusato, owner of South Salem-based Cusato Management Corp and construction manager for the project, told the North Salem Planning Board Wednesday night that a variety of factors had negatively impacted progress. Among them: labor shortages and supply chain issues, including delays in sourcing the appliances needed for the restaurant’s “two sophisticated kitchens.”
“The realistic, honest truth is that it will not open by the middle of September,” Cusato said, remarking on a previous target date. “We have the Board of Health that we still have to contend with. We have to deal with all the issues regarding water treatment, and the septic system.” Cusato noted that there were “so many sequential events” that need to take place before the restaurant can open.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the project’s lead engineer, David Sessions, presented site updates to the Planning Board, including plans to add a charging station in the parking lot for electric vehicles. Sessions described the planned station as a “plug-and-play courtesy charge” for restaurant patrons. Town attorney Roland Baroni, citing trends he has seen throughout Westchester County, noted that North Salem will need to update its code to account for an increasing number of requests to install EV charging stations at commercial use properties.
Other features of the new restaurant include two patios, one on the west side of the building and one on the south side of the building, and ADA-compliant accessibility throughout, including ramps with handrails at the front entrance.
Sessions said that his firm will go before the Town Zoning Board later this month before returning to the Planning Board for final approvals the first week of August. He expressed concern about any potential hold-ups in the approvals process, saying, “we want to be open yesterday.”
Cusato stressed that his team has been diligently doing all they can to continue making progress on the restaurant despite the significant challenges they’ve faced. “My client’s not happy but she knows we’re working,” he said. “We’re under the microscope; everybody is watching this project. Nobody wants this open more than myself, my team and the owner.”
Read the North Salem Post's past coverage of the former Vox restaurant: