Easton's Zoning Hearing Board has given its approval to two new restaurants: a , and a "jazz lounge" in the basement of the .
Greg Schuyler*, of Schy-Rhys Inc. (that's pronounced "Sky Rise") says he hopes to open the 92-seat restaurant/bar at the annex, but needed the board to approve a parking variance.
Schuyler, who owns several Northampton Street properties, testified that no other downtown restaurants have their own parking, and rely on the same sources he would: the city's main garage, the parking lot at church, and (eventually) the intermodal garage.
Board members had no issue with the proposal.
"We all know parking is non existent downtown," said board member Michael Civetella. "It’s the way of the world in Easton."
Also Monday, the board approved Juan Martinez's request for a parking variance at Don Juan Mex Grill, his proposed burrito place on College Hill.
Martinez, of Coopersburg, would operate out of the first floor of a -owned building at 518 March St., and says he hopes students come to think of his establishment "as an extension on their dining facility."
Board member Michael Brett pointed out that Martinez's restaurant would likely attract mostly pedestrian traffic and short-term diners.
"You're not going to have people parking there for 2 hours," he said.
Martinez, who also runs the State Cafe and Grill on Fifth Street -- has said the restaurant will employ about 8 people and have room for 30 customers. The city's planning commission gave its approval to the restaurant earlier this month.
* An earlier version of this story misspelled Schuyler's name.