Just had a nice chat with the Mount Pleasant town supervisor about plans for the long dormant Hawthorne train station. The ever-affable Joan Maybury said an initial list of 12-15 interested potential vendors was whittled down to just a few, and the town is leaning toward leasing the space to some operators with plans to put a casual coffee shop in the train station building. The town supervisor compared plans for the eatery to the Jean Jacques establishment up the road in Pleasantville.
The would-be proprietors, she said, are young, have construction backgrounds and live in town.
The train station space might also be divvied up into different establishments. There’s also been interest from the new Hawthorne Taxi outfit about renting space there.
“We hope to have some real direction on it next month,” says Maybury.
The plans are in line with what the good people of Mount Pleasant would like to see done with the train station space. Over the summer, the civic organization Mount Pleasant Today issued a questionnaire to residents, asking what they’d like to see go into that key space. Most popular was a “bistro meeting place,” followed by a national coffee chain, followed by a police substation.
Alas, it will be some time before you’re sipping your caramel latte skinny macchiatto at the new Hawthore station cafe. Some major construction needs to go down–the coffee shop guys want gas lines put in, among other things–and the place would not likely be open for business until spring, says Maybury.
There’s still no activity regarding the vacated and increasingly eyesorish Bel Paese joint across from the train, but Maybury said she’s hopeful the owner will bring his price expectations down and find a willing taker in the coming months. “I’m an optimist,” she said.
Maybury also mentioned that the expansion of the Valhalla station lot means lots of available spaces for town residents who may be fed up with scarcity of parking at Hawthorne. It’s four fewer minutes on the train, folks, and you could end your day with a cold pint of Captain Lawrence at Valhalla Crossing. Maybury didn’t say that–I did.
Maybury said she was pleased with recent enhancements to the train station area, such as the giant grandfather clock and a spankin’ new iron fence along Elwood that I hadn’t even noticed. She said there’s more to come, in the form of plants, flowers, drainage and other quality of life improvements.