Self-pour tap bar, J-1 housing proposed in Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID — The North Elba-Lake Placid Planning Review Board heard proposals Wednesday for a new bar and an affordable apartment building for J-1 students. Both projects are planned for Main Street in Lake Placid.
Dan Reilly and Rachel Zendran, entrepreneurs from Stillwater, applied to the board to create a bar on the second floor of the new Faizy’s Fun House arcade at 2457 Main St. A nontraditional bar, the proposed business would use self-serve taps that have gained popularity in recent years across the country. Operated through a system called Pour My Beer, the taps would offer local beer and wine by the serving to customers, as well as some pre-mixed cocktails. Customers, after providing ID and a credit card to keep on file, would receive a personal radio-frequency identification card or wristband compatible with the self-pour machines — similar to a hotel key card or a smart wristband at an amusement park. They could then use this RFID to pour their own drinks at the taps. The RFID will track how much they have spent at the taps as well as how much alcohol they have consumed. The taps and RFIDs can also be programmed to stop after a certain amount of money or alcohol. According to Reilly and Zendran, this system will make it easier to track how much patrons have consumed, as well as when to cut them off.
According to Reilly, self-pour bars are still fairly novel in the Northeast.
“We ended up bringing a franchise on the real estate side that was the first in New York, and when we looked to this option (in Lake Placid) … there’s nothing above, I think it’s Rochester, all the way across the Northeast. So it’s a newer concept up here but it’s all over,” he said.
Among the proposed changes to the space, Reilly and Zendran plan to install restrooms along with the self-pour taps. The bar will be accessed from inside the ground-floor arcade space and will open an hour after the arcade opens. According to the review board application, the bar will create six jobs.
The board decided to “put (the application) through its paces” despite Reilly and Zendran having not yet obtained a liquor license. Even with conditional use granted, the business will not be allowed to operate until it has a license.
Mea and David Rosner, who own local vacation rental company Stay ADK, propose to transform 2653 Main St. — the building that used to house Fireside Steak House — into affordable housing for J-1 students working in the village.
“We have experience with housing (J-1 students) for the past three years, and we never have enough housing. They are constantly calling. We have to turn them away. So we thought that we would like to provide a good space for them,” Mea said.
According to plans provided in the review board application, the building will be able to house a maximum of 24 people in a dorm-style arrangement, with shared bathrooms and common areas. If approved, the apartments are slated to be finished by December.
The board expressed reservations about the use of the ground-floor storefront-style space in the building as a common area, which the Rosners’ plan proposes. Mea suggested that she move the office of her financial management business into the storefront instead of the common area, so at the street level the building would still be for commercial rather than residential use. The common area will be moved to an area that is not visible from the street level. The board agreed to these alterations to the plan, as the use of the building will technically remain commercial rather than shifting to residential. The board will vote on the plan at its next meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 4, contingent on the Rosners providing updated plans.