Is Germantown on board with arrival of a diner?

GERMANTOWN—“Diner” may be on its way to town—not the 1982 movie, based in a Baltimore eatery, but the same kind of vintage place to eat and hang out.

The Planning Board holds a Public Hearing at its next meeting, Thursday, May 25, on an application from Michael C. Lueck of Red Hook to move a 1955 diner to Route 9G and Sharpes Landing Road.

Mr. Lueck is the brother of Martin Lueck and a part owner of Central House hotel in the town’s hamlet. Michael Lueck is also the owner, with his wife, Vicki, of Charlie O’s Hometown Bar & Grill in Red Hook. Charlie O’s website describes it as a “family-owned and operated restaurant” that opened in August 2010. The owners “grew up in the area” and “named the restaurant after their son, Charlie Otto.”

Mr. Lueck has worked in the restaurant business for the past eight years, he said, and as a young man. In between, he worked in construction—“I know construction,” he said—and he manages properties he owns.

Mr. Lueck found the diner in Grand Gorge, Delaware County, he said Monday. There it had been lovingly restored in a 20-year project by its previous owner. It seats 62. He said he plans a menu of “diner food” that is made on site and locally sourced as much as possible.

Mr. Lueck’s application came in toward the end of March, Planning Board Chairman Stephen Reynolds said Tuesday, and the public hearing is part of the site plan review.

One of the board’s “primary considerations was the height of the structure,” because the town’s scenic view overlay, looking west to the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, is applicable at the site.

The scenic view overlay has been part of the concern over Primax Properties’ proposal to put a Dollar General retail store farther south on Route 9G, just north of County Route 8/Main Street. Mr. Reynolds did not have the height of either building with him on Tuesday, but he said the store was “considerably higher” than the diner.

Mr. Reynolds could say only that the diner would need “upwards of 20” parking spaces and that an unpaved, “informal” parking area already exists at the site, where buses were parked in the past. The proposal also creates an area where a tractor trailer can pull over.

In other Planning Board business:

• Primax Properties will not be present at the next meeting with its ongoing application for the Dollar General store. “A month or two ago [Primax] gave us what they hoped was final Draft Environmental Impact Statement,” said Mr. Reynolds, adding, “The Planning Board, with our consultant Theodore Fink, reviewed it for completeness, determined that a few things were missing and deemed it incomplete.” Primax is now working on another version of the DEIS, he said, with the ultimate goal of a final Environmental Impact Statement

• The board has received an application for a site plan review for a coffee shop/wine bar at 212 Main Street. Formerly Germantown Variety, this building has been purchased and divided in half. The beverage shop would be one half. Proposed for the other half, said Mr. Reynolds, is possibly a showroom for a woodcraftsman/furniture maker.

The Planning Board meets in Town Hall, 50 Palatine Park Road, beginning with the Public Hearing at 7 p.m.

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