Restaurant seating an issue in Noank

Groton - The owner of Ford's Lobster will appeal a cease and desist order concerning outdoor seating that he has told patrons and neighbors will "significantly impact the current operation of the restaurant."

The comment by owner Kristian Nyman is contained in an Aug. 11 letter that is attached to a petition at the small Noank restaurant.

Nyman declined to elaborate Monday on the cease and desist order but said it relates only to seating.

The restaurant has been placing chairs on its lawn for those waiting for a table. The restaurant's zoning permit limits its number of seating.

Nyman said some people mistakenly believe the restaurant on Riverview Avenue is closing but that it would remain open.

"We're just going to keep it low key," he said.

Noank Zoning Enforcement Officer William Mulholland could not be reached Monday.

But in the letter, Nyman wrote: "Ford's restaurant recently received a cease and desist order from the Noank Zoning Officer which would significantly impact the current operation of the restaurant."

It asked patrons to sign the petition if they enjoy outdoor seating while waiting, and said the restaurant would appeal the decision of the zoning officer to the Noank Zoning Board of Appeals.

Dolly Glennon, whose yard overlooks the restaurant, said Ford's has put out Adirondack chairs this summer so people can sit and enjoy the view while waiting for a table. The restaurant overlooks Fishers Island Sound.

Glennon said the restaurant has been busy and a neighbor complained.

"It's probably six weeks a year that it's really bustling," said Glennon, whose son, 19, works at Ford's. "But we live on the water, and who doesn't want to see the water in the summertime?"

Liz Halsey, another neighbor who can see the restaurant from her front porch, said she doesn't find it disruptive.

"It's very, very quiet," she said. "My 90-year-old mother-in-law loves to hear the children roll down the hill. What's better than hearing children laugh?"

d.straszheim@theday.com

@DStraszheim

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