BERLIN – A couple attempting to open a deli in Berlin has gotten the final approval for sewer and water service they have pursued for months, leaving the way open for their new venture.
On Monday night, the Berlin Mayor and Council approved a one EDU allocation to the building known as the Carriage House, most recently used as Italian restaurant Just Like Mamma’s.
The council also approved a waiver allowing future deli proprietors Dave and Kelly Sylvester to use seating space for refrigerator cases in addition to the 10 seats permitted with one EDU. Without the waiver, the space would have required more capacity.
A hitch in the proceedings almost arose when the council learned that the sale of the property had not yet been completed. EDU allocation agreements are made between the town of Berlin and the owners of the property.
“What the council should do if you’re so inclined is approve this contingent on these folks purchasing the property. You’re entering into an agreement with the owner and right now, they’re not the owner,” said Dave Gaskill, attorney for Berlin.
Before the vote, Dave Sylvester asked for another exception, allowing more seats.
“When I look at the 10-seat thing, it always comes back to, there was an Italian restaurant in there with 75 seats,” he said.
The deli will be a carry-out operation and not have wait staff, Kelly Sylvester said, and there does not seem to be a difference between providing 10 seats or 20 seats for patrons who choose to eat-in.
Maryland state guidelines call for the restriction, said Linda Bambary, administrative director of Berlin.
“That would require a revision to the guidelines,” she said.
Interim Mayor Gee Williams said that allocating additional EDUs to the deli later would be a simple, practical matter, if the business is so successful it needs more seating and therefore more capacity.
“Let’s all hope you have a very successful business and you need more EDUs because of that,” Williams said.
Williams said he does not see any major hurdle to assigning more EDUs to the business if needed once more sewer capacity begins to be released as part of the expansion of Berlin’s wastewater plant.
The Sylvesters have been attempting to open the deli for several months, beginning in early winter. The couple plan to call their new business Dave and Kelly’s Deli.