Mineola approves Colombian restaurant to open on Jericho Turnpike

Mineola approves Colombian restaurant to open on Jericho Turnpike
Mario Rodriguez, of Grace Renovations, presented a plan for a Colombian restaurant to open in Mineola at the village meeting last Wednesday. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The owners of a family-run restaurant franchise plan to bring Colombian flare to Mineola with a new location set to open on Jericho Turnpike next February.

The restaurant, Noches de Colombia, was approved in an unanimous vote by the village board during Wednesday’s meeting.

There are 19 Noches de Colombia locations throughout New York and New Jersey, but this will be the first to open on Long Island.

The restaurant will take over the space left vacant by the closed Azzurro’s Pizzeria at 204 Jericho Turnpike.

The restaurant will have a sit down area and bar, as well as a bakery where customers can come in and pick up traditional breads like pandebonos, a soft baked cheese bread, and empanadas, owner John Velez said.

There will be no live music or performances, Velez said.

The space will fit about 100 people and will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Although there is a bar in the restaurant, all customers leave by 10 p.m., Velez said.

Gregory Hunter, a resident who lives on Banbury road which runs parallel to Jericho Turnpike between Willis Avenue and Mineola Boulevard, said traffic is currently an issue in the area because of local employees using residential roads for parking.

“It’s out of control already,” Hunter said.

Board members urged Velez to encourage his employees to use surrounding municipal lots.

Velez said he would, noting that the abundance of municipal lots in the area is one reason he chose Mineola.

There is also a metered lot behind the restaurant, and Mayor Scott Strauss said Velez can reach out to the village clerk about purchasing some spaces annually for employees to use.

During the meeting the board also unanimously approved a request for the owner of a laundromat on Jericho Turnpike to move down a couple of stores.

Jericho Laundromat, currently located at 150 Jericho Turnpike, will move to 170 Jericho Turnpike.

Paul Barroca, of PR Consulting Engineering, said the owner’s lease had ended and the landlord couldn’t extend it.

The owner wanted to stay in the area for his customers, and chose to relocate to 170 Jericho Turnpike, Barroca said.

The 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday hours of operation will remain the same.

Strauss said the owner has “been a great neighbor” and he doesn’t see any issues with the use.

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