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Condo owners complain about new Son Cubano restaurant on Hudson

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : Owners at a Hudson River condominium complex with a troubled history are up in arms over Son Cubano — the first restaurant to finally open in the West New York development — after more than a few nights of what they say are loud music, crowds gathering outside and narrow roadways jammed with vehicles.

Fountain at Grandview

Attorneys for the two Grandview communities and representatives of Roseland Property, Son Cubano and the Port Imperial Property Owners Association met with West New York officials for three hours last week to discuss the dispute sparked by the chain restaurant’s popularity along a stretch of River Road where eateries are scarce.

“We recognize the absolute frustration of the residents in the Grandview communities and understand that anything short of an immediate fix is not acceptable,” insisted Grandview Condominium President Cecilia Stromnes.

How much they’ll actually be able to accomplish is debatable.

The root of the dispute, according to a woman who owns one of the units, is that the restaurant — with pumped-up dance music and crowds eager to be part of the new scene — is operating as a night club with a restaurant permit.

Model Amber Lee Ettinger, a former Grandview tenant, sits by the circle’s distinctive columns

“All you hear is boom, boom, boom boom while you are trying to sleep,” she said. “Traffic is all backed up around the circle.”

Son Cubano agreed during last week’s talks to hire an off-duty police officer from 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, Stromnes said.

“Among other matters, the officer will monitor the traffic issues and noise problems,” she wrote, in a letter to her fellow condo owners.

The Grandview Associations are also going to meet with Son Cubano’s sound man to discuss “what actions can be taken to reduce the noise levels,” she added, particularly those “that cause vibration and thumping sounds into the early morning hours.”

What’s more, the restaurant owners agreed to give the associations a traffic plan aimed at easing congestion. However, Stromnes said she and her fellow owners want Son Cubano to limit the number of customers “loitering outside” while waiting for valets to retrieve their vehicles.

“These plans include the possibility of shuttling customers to their parked cars so that the patrons don’t remain waiting outside the door,” she said.

Stromnes said the association’s lawyers will press their case if the owners aren’t satisfied with the restaurant’s response.

The trouble might never have happened had businesses opened in the street-level storefronts before occupants began moving in.

Restaurants and other businesses were part of the plan when K-Hovnanian Homes opened the first Grandview building, 22 Avenue at Port Imperial, five years ago. Three other developments were also planned. Drawings showed a thriving development, hard by the Hudson — similar in some ways to Edgewater‘s City Place — — with several businesses leading toward a majestic cul-de-sac circled with deco-style columns around a fountain.

22 Avenue got a Ben & Jerry’s almost immediately, and a Wachovia bank a short time later. A dry cleaners has since set up shop next to the bank, and a nail salon opened across the street in the same development as the restaurant.

A third building, on River Road, quickly got a Starbucks in front, an A&P in back and a liquor store in-between. But as the economy soured and K-Hov found itself spread thin, the developments were left begging for restaurants and other businesses that originally had been envisioned.

A hole has remained in the ground along River Road where the fourth building — targeted for owners and tenants 55 and older — was supposed to stand.

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