Eleven North restaurant in Edgartown heads south

Eleven North is no more. — Photo by Michelle Gross

Eleven North restaurant has closed for good, Edgartown selectmen learned Monday. Two years into their five-year lease, owners Joe Cuzzupoli and Jonathan Koerner are negotiating to end their business and lease following a flood on December 13 that caused significant interior damage to the building.

The restaurant had been in trouble with town officials in the fall, after architectural changes had not cured its deficient handicap access. Chip Williams, a partner in the restaurant who is working on behalf of the principal owners, told selectmen Monday that he has stepped in to represent Mr. Cuzzupoli and Mr. Koerner, to help mediate during this transitional period.

“This morning I got the written authorization from the restaurant ownership to help resolve all of the outstanding issues and put things into place as they absolutely should be and should have been,” Mr. Williams said.

Selectman Margaret Serpa said his narrative was one the selectmen have heard before.

“There was a lack of consistency and diligence and proper management, in terms of day-to-day and in terms of responsiveness to organizations like selectmen,” Mr. Williams said.

Also present Monday, John Roberts, one of the owners of the building occupied by Eleven North, said he is now negotiating with the Eleven North owners. “Joe and Jonathan will no longer be leasing the property from me,” Mr. Roberts told selectmen. “We will have new tenants. These gentlemen didn’t succeed at their venture here; that’s pretty obvious.”

Last month, in a separate transaction, Mr. Roberts, owner of Island Food Products and a trustee of Island Realty Trust, bought the building previously occupied by Lattanzi’s restaurant in Edgartown for $1.75 million.

“We want to bring in people who are restaurateurs, who are proven, successful, and let them do what they do best and carry it forward,” Mr. Roberts said.

Mr. Roberts said it will take three to four months to restore the space following the flood. He also said he is now in the process of finding new tenants to lease the space and will seek to transfer the restaurant’s annual liquor license to the new tenants once they are in place.

Mr. Smadbeck asked how Mr. Roberts and Mr. Williams plan to correct the handicap ramp issue. Mr. Williams said it could be addressed at a public hearing next month.

“That’s very disconcerting and costly to the town,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “So again, I ask you, what, short of putting it back the way it was, can you do to get this accepted so were not going through all this great expense, on behalf of you, to some hearing that we should not even have to be part of?”

Selectmen asked Mr. Williams to submit a formal request to close the restaurant and to meet with them on Monday, January 13, to discuss the terms of the annual liquor license.

No dice for DAS

Georgiana Greenough of the Chappaquiddick wireless committee told selectmen Monday that the town received no bids to build a distributed antenna system (DAS).

“We would like to ask for your advice on the next steps on trying to get cell coverage on Chappaquiddick,” Ms. Greenough said.

DAS relies on a series of radio access nodes (RAN) connected to small antennas set on telephone poles, or poles erected for that specific purpose, to distribute cellular telephone signals. The wireless committee believed DAS would provide an alternative to a conventional tower on Chappaquiddick.

An earlier proposal to use town-owned property for a conventional cell tower met stiff resistance from Chappaquiddick residents.

“There’s no DAS bids because it’s not making sense obviously,” Mr. Smadbeck said.

Ms. Greenough said she still believes there is a need for DAS on Chappy.

“The reason they need coverage is because of the accidents that have been documented in the last year,” she said.

Déjà vu

Selectmen re-approved an application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Monday.

Alice Boyd of Bailey Boyd Associates reintroduced the CDBG application to selectmen following changes to the public hearing process by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

“Since I was with you last time, the HCD decided in their wisdom that if we were going to reapply for funding for the same activities from the previous year that we needed to readdress expectations and outcomes in the public hearing,” Ms. Boyd said.

CDBG funds are channeled through the two lead communities for the program, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, which pay the cost to apply for the grants. Edgartown partners with Chilmark, Aquinnah, and West Tisbury every third year, and Oak Bluffs partners with Tisbury in applying for the grant.

Next year, CDBD aims to rehab 24 properties and to subsidize child care for 40 to 45 children with funds from the grant.

“It’s been a wildly successful program, I think more than we ever anticipated,” Ms. Boyd said.