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Planners approve eatery's site plan


OGDENSBURG — The city is one step closer to having a hybrid Mexican restaurant and ice cream shop after the Planning Board unanimously approved site plans Wednesday.

Murray W. Graveline, Morristown, said he hopes to open the Dirty Gringo in January.

The restaurant will be on Main Street, which in Ogdensburg is a misnomer. The area, far from the city's major commercial thoroughfares, is ripe for redevelopment, city officials say.

The city does not have a restaurant dedicated to Mexican food. One member of the Planning Board jokingly introduced a motion to eat tacos, and another pointed out — with disappointment — that margaritas weren't on the table because Mr. Graveline isn't yet going to apply for a liquor license.

Mr. Graveline, who has no formal business experience, decided to open the restaurant after he lost his job at UPS Supply Chain Solutions in Clayton in June because of the tough economy.

A series of obstacles still lies ahead before Mr. Graveline can open the business, including passing health inspections, finding financing and buying equipment.

"Every time you think you're on the right track, something comes up," he said. "It doesn't work on your time."

In other Planning Board action, Director of Planning and Development J. Justin Woods wrote the board a memo detailing the steps he would take to avoid future conflicts over parking spots.

Plans for a new eye clinic prompted a debate at a Planning Board meeting in late October about how many spaces the lot should have. Mr. Woods would better explain the process of calculating spots the next time, he said, prompting nods from the board.

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