Niskayuna restaurant closes ice cream window over safety concerns

Vehicles are parked on the side entrance to The Broken Inn on Clifton Park Road in Niskayuna where they would like to install a patio for dining on Monday.

Vehicles are parked on the side entrance to The Broken Inn on Clifton Park Road in Niskayuna where they would like to install a patio for dining on Monday.

NISKAYUNA – The Broken Inn, which operates an ice cream window, issued a statement Tuesday that people looking for ice cream will need to enter the restaurant to fulfill their craving after the business voluntarily shut the window until safety issues were addressed. 

The business, opened since March, has been selling ice cream out of a window on the Clifton Park Road side of the establishment for a couple weeks now. It been very popular, according to Thomas Nicchi, Of Stand Up Global, an agent for the owner.  But the area where the window is has become a safety concern.

“As it stands currently there are no striped parking spaces on the Clifton Park Road side of the building,” Nicchi said at the Planning Board meeting. “There is no space for anyone to safely eat an ice cream cone or feed an ice cream to their kid in a stroller or anything for that matter. There’s no barrier whatsoever to keep someone from mistaking the gas for the break and driving into the building.”

The restaurant had roped off some of the area, adding chair and a table, but then found out it needed approval from the town and more significant barriers to prevent cars from hitting people. 

On Monday Nicchi presented several documents to the town Planning Board requesting a temporary outdoor seating area that would push back the parking along Clifton Park Road and delineate where people could stand or sit with their ice cream, wait in line to get ice cream without safety concerns of people pulling in to park. 

The plan calls for relocating the parking spaces about 24 feet to the west of where they currently are, allowing for a 833-square-foot outdoor dining space, according to the documents.

Monday night, Planning Board Chairperson Kevin Walsh said any type of temporary seating area, such as the one requested by the owner, would need to go through the normal review process of the board. However, the board said, the business could submit a sketch of where it would put up barriers in the meantime to increase public safety

“Parking has always been problematic in that whole area,” said board vice chairperson David D’Arpino.

The plan for barriers was submitted Tuesday morning, according to a Facebook post by the restaurant. Until that is approved, the business shut the ice cream window voluntarily. 

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience but it’s simply the right thing to do,” states the post. “No amount of ice cream sales will make up for someone getting hit by a car. We realize the timing stinks and hope you understand and that this will hopefully only be for a few days. In the meantime please come inside through the front door for your ice cream or massive cookie sandwich and we will take care of you there. And please please please drive/park safely on the Clifton Park Rd side of our building. We will let you know just as soon as we open the window again.”

The business has received significant support for the outdoors space. Town Planner Laura Robertson said she had received 161 correspondences in favor of the project and three that raised concerns about it.

Nicchi said his biggest concern isn’t about making money but ensuring the safety of his patrons.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @SB_DailyGazette.

Categories: News, Your Niskayuna

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