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Chez L’Épicier site plan approved

Posted On: 10-20-2014

By David Rogers Daily News Staff Writer

“Oui,” Palm Beach expects to get another dining option this season.

The Town Council unanimously approved Wednesday a special exception request and site plan for Chez L’Épicier, a French restaurant proposed for 288 S. County Road. Wellington resident Laurent Godbout and his wife, Veronique Deneault, plan to bring a “farm-to-table” approach to creating modern French dishes with international influences.

The town requires special exceptions for restaurants of 3,000 square feet or more to ensure they are “town-serving,” Zoning Administrator Paul Castro said.

Godbout, an acclaimed chef, operates a restaurant of the same name in Montreal. The restaurant in the Palmway Building plans to be open from 3 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Friday and from 10:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Godbout did not announce an expected opening date.

Through attorney Maura Ziska, the pair asked that a window on the northeast corner of the building be converted back into a door. Castro and Mayor Gail Coniglio questioned the idea.

“I’m not sure why they need that because that’s a really dangerous intersection right there,” Castro said. The property is on the southwest corner of County Road and Royal Palm Way. “Moving the door is an accident waiting to happen,” Coniglio said. Doing so would put patrons too close to the busy intersection, she said.

The council denied that request and directed Ziska to report back in one year with proof that the restaurant serves the town. Council members also brushed aside resident Les Evans’ complaint that the 138-seat restaurant would further strain the town’s chronic parking problem.

The prime piece of real estate has long been a restaurant spot, despite being vacant for the past five years. The last long-term tenant in the 4,454-square-foot space was Amici Ristorante, which spent 10 years in the building before leaving in 2004.

 

Source: David Rogers, October 20, 2014, Palm Beach Daily News

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