A gourmet pizza eatery may be opening in Chagrin Falls soon. On Monday, the new owner of a historical village livery, the small brick building at 13 Bell St., asked Chagrin Falls Council, to allow her tenant to use a village easement for an outdoor patio in the summer and extra parking space in the winter.

Amy Weinfurtner said she has a serious leasee for the former Mario’s Spa building which has undergone structural improvements including restoration of its original brick façade.

“We have heavily invested in the restoration and would like to move ahead with this lease,” she told council during its regularly scheduled Zoom meeting.

The easement provides access to the dam behind the building. The village’s agreement with the former owner called for $300 a month use fee.

Ms. Weinfurtner said the small area between her building and Bell Street Park would provide room for outdoor seating for a casual dining style gourmet pizza restaurant operated by a Cordon Bleu trained chef who plans dine-in and carryout service.

“We would be improving a space we don’t own,” she said of plans for use of the easement which, if the village agrees, will add viability for the business.

She was not at liberty to name the owner-chef or share the concept of the restaurant, but Ms. Weinfurtner did say that plans call for the Chagrin Falls location to be the flagship with other locations planned.

Mayor William Tomko said plans for a restaurant comply with village ordinances and parking regulations.

He reminded council that a referendum vote on whether the village should have the option of leasing the easement was overwhelmingly approved by voters three years ago when former owners asked for the same consideration.

Village officials were not aware that Chagrin Falls owned the small piece of property as part of the park until patio dining was brought up by the former building owner.

During the Mario’s Spa era, the easement area was used as a pad for an air conditioning unit.

There were no immediate comments by council members although Councilwoman Angela DeBernardo suggested a follow-up meeting this week or next to go over the original easement leasing ordinance.

In the meantime, copies of the ordinance would be sent to all council members as a point of reference for further discussions with Ms. Weinfurtner.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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