An Expensive Cup of Joe

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An Expensive Cup of Joe

August 19, 2011 - 12:55

I am sitting down having lunch with my daughter when a squad car from the New Rochelle Police Department pulls up in the front of the café. I am thinking they are coming in to have some coffee. But they just sit there for 15 minutes.
Suddenly, the driver comes in the café and issues a ticket to the clerk for having chairs and table outside without a city permit.
The clerk gets the owner John Reverol on the phone to talk with the cop. Of course, I cannot hear the conversation but one thing was clear. My friend John asked for a warning, not a ticket. The officer responded: “Sorry, the chief does not allow us to give warnings.”
R Patisserie, the latest addition to entrepreneurial endeavors into New Rochelle, is an amazing effort on the part of John Reverol. It has robust coffee, fine blends of tea, desserts to die for, art to admire and jewelry to wear; all set in a very welcoming environ. But, like most businesses in downtown New Rochelle, it is not appreciated nor supported by the City Government.
Now it could be argued that John should have known that he needed a permit. He did ask, but clearly he got the wrong answer. And one could argue that the officer had no obligation to issue a verbal warning. But there is no argument that our current city government behaves like a crack addict. It will do anything to get your money. Anything!
One does not have to be here 16 years to figure out the game!
John told me that some of his customers got parking tickets after coming in to buy coffee. They were there less than 3 minutes and got a ticket. It turned out to be a $30.00 café macchiato!
They write parking tickets day and night, 24-7. Not even Sunday is missed. They issue fines to legitimate businesses who are trying to enhance the quality of life in the blighted downtown area. Yes, it is blighted in comparison to other towns in our County.
I feel this very strongly because I have seen too many tickets on my windshield in the past. And I have heard the horror stories of people who go to church on Sunday and find their car with a $40 ticket attached!
No other surrounding town -- that I know of -- behaves like this. So why New Rochelle?
It is simple. The city is in financial freefall after 10 years of wasteful spending and horrible development decisions. There is no more money. The sales revenues have decrease 10 percent. Hence, they push parking fees and ticket businesses to grab our money on a daily basis.
I know my words are a little strong. But it bothers me. And it should bother you too.
What can we do? Don’t get any more tickets. Yeah, right. But we certainly could carry more quarters. And merchants could have quarters too! Why not? That ticket could determine whether the customer you value will ever return to your business or the City of New Rochelle for that matter.
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There are 6 Comments

It is now possible to comment on the blog entry. Sorry for not turning on the allow comment switch.

The providing quarters for customers is an excellent suggestion. Not only would it eliminate the chance of getting a ticket but it would develop strong customer / owner relationships. I would surely return to a business which did this. I have actually had a business owner pay for a parking ticket I received while in his establishment, and for that I continue to do my shopping there.

Couple of things here

1. I was unaware that new rochelle had park here for 3mins or less free parking. Why not just pop a quarter in the meter
2. Maybe it was a fireman you overheard, or you didn't overhear it at all because as far as I know , and from what is listed on the government website New Rochelle does not have a chief.
3. You stated that the owner knew about the permit , did not have one but did it anyway.
4. How is it fair that some business owners go through the paperwork and pay for the permits to only see one without a permit do it for free?

5. Although I do agree with you that New Rochelle makes it near impossible for business owners to flourish its not that hard to follow the rules and fight the battle in a different arena.
6. As for other towns or cities, try parking in white plains or larchmont.
7. I have no soft side for this because when I go to five islands park with my Omni pass which I paid for and went to city hall for only to park next to 10 cars who just don't care it drives me crazy.
Not to sound souless, like I said I do agree with part of the story and New Rochelle needs to do more to help our business district develop and flourish. But to pick and choose who pays when/where and because he has nice teas he doesn't is not fair for the rest.

Simple fix.... one is that before he go before a court to pay the ticket he obtains the the permit to have tables a chairs on the side walk. He the can go before the judge and he can tell him he never got a warning and show him proof of the permit. Most judges will reduce or do away with the fine.

Now if we just can get the merchants not to park all day in front of theirs and other store that would help, Parking should be for customers not workers

this is only one example, the waitress from posto22 parks all day in front of coffee shop and jewelers , taking up parking all day and they don't care. there many more that do this on main st, center, north ave, ect

Business owner(Most) wake the heck up and look where you and your worker park first, then you can say something about parking.

Sorry to add this Kevin in your blog, i just had to say something about it!

Kevin,you stated in a story not to long ago about what a great job the Bid does for New Rochelle well where are they for this merchant?? Don't blame the cops for doing what the Mayor and his crew want to rid every business owner out of this city with there laws.
Kevin you said about parking in your last post! It was the Bid that wanted 24/7 parking in the lots,it was the Bid that wanted parking at the meters on the street till 10pm because Mo's res't and Joe Fosina complained they had no parking,Mo's should try to get some good food and service before they blame parking for there problems. Mr.Barret get to real issues the bums,the crime,24/7 parking,the noise, manpower with the police,fire,and Dpw.What are you going to do about that. You say another supermarket? What taxes does a supermarket generate? Get a real store here that gives us tax money like a Best Buy, Pc Richards ,big ticket items that generate sales tax dollars. That's what this city needs not a supermarket.Wake up and smell the coffee!!