Appétit Bistro should be opening by the end of this month next to Davy Byrnes in the Lyon Park shopping center at the corner of Willett and Putnam avenues.Jananne Abel|Westmore News
Appétit Bistro should be opening by the end of this month next to Davy Byrnes in the Lyon Park shopping center at the corner of Willett and Putnam avenues.

Jananne Abel|Westmore News
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If you eat out on any regular basis, you are anxious to know what new eateries are coming down the pike in Port Chester and Rye Brook or even if a longtime restaurant has gotten a facelift.

Anyone who travels the Boston Post Road in Port Chester knows that the brightly colored Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen finally had its grand opening on Mar. 30 and is still attracting sizable crowds. In addition to that, a French bistro will be opening soon in the village, a brand new Café Mirage will be welcoming customers at a different address toward the end of the summer, a seafood restaurant is on the horizon as is an American Bar & Restaurant. At some point Misti Restaurant, with its celebrated pollo a la brasa, will be reopening its expanded second location and another Italian restaurant and pizzeria will be taking over the space Spadaro Ristorante briefly occupied. Meanwhile Michael's, famous for its pan pizza, has a fresh new look on the outside which will soon extend to the inside as well.

Appétit Bistro
540A Willett Avenue
Port Chester
690-2000
Expected Opening: End of May

Since he came to the United States from Guatemala at age 16, Edwin Montoya of Port Chester has been working in French restaurants, first at the now-defunct Bistro Citron in Scarsdale for a few years and currently at Le Fat Poodle in Old Greenwich. Soon he will be opening a French bistro of his own in the village where he lives, something that Port Chester, with its abundance of ethnic eateries, is lacking. Its last French restaurant, Le Radis Blanc, closed years ago, long before Port Chester became colloquially known as "The Restaurant Capital of Westchester."

Montoya is transforming the tiny space in the Lyon Park shopping center on Willett Avenue that has been a burger joint and two different Colombian restaurants in rapid succession into something new and different than the three eateries that came before. With his brother-in-law, Edi Rivera, who has a decade of experience cooking in French restaurants, as his chef and Montoya, a practiced manager, taking care of the floor, he feels confident they will succeed at this location where others have not.

They plan to offer a seasonal menu taking advantage of fresh produce. Starting with dinner, lunch will be added later and eventually Appétit Bistro may open for breakfast as well.

The new décor will include charcoal gray walls offset by white wainscoting. A chandelier and other lighting is on order. Appétit Bistro will seat 19 with the option of breaking through the wall and taking over the vacant space next door after three months if business is booming.

Wine is critical to the French dining experience and thus a liquor license is pending.

"We are shooting for toward the end of May," Montoya said about Appétit Bistro's expected date of opening. "We are waiting on a couple of permits."

Café Mirage
223-225 Westchester Ave.
Port Chester
Expected Opening: Aug. 1

Work is progressing to turn the former T&J Villaggio Trattoria into Café Mirage, as can be seen from the outside of this prominent location on Westchester Avenue which is now boarded up while a new façade takes shape.

"All of the upstairs is gutted, all the bathrooms are gutted, we took the entire façade out, will put in all new windows, the kitchen is completed, downstairs is gutted, ceiling out, new air conditioning put in, the floor is up," said Port Chester Trustee and CPA Sam Terenzi, who has put together a limited partnership with Dave and Katy Haggerty, former owners of Café Mirage, to reestablish the restaurant that closed in September 2014 after 15 years.

"It is looking pretty good," said Terenzi, "but there is still a lot more work to be done."

Rye Brook resident Dan Paniccia's construction company did the initial work for the landlord such as putting in a new kitchen, a wheelchair lift and a handicapped accessible bathroom after the space had been dark for more than a year.

"We got the permits to do the rest of it," said Terenzi, who is an investor and will promote and keep an eye on the place since his CPA office is upstairs in the same building. The limited partnership includes Terenzi, the Haggertys and some other investors. They went before the Architectural Review Board in March to get approval for the new façade.

The partners are hoping for an Aug. 1 opening at the latest and are in the process of applying for a liquor license. That license, however, cannot be obtained until the final Certificate of Occupancy is issued, Terenzi explained. Even if they don't have their liquor license once the renovation is completed, they may do a soft opening without one. In addition, the partners are looking at doing something May 21 to let people know what is going on.

The location, need for reasonably priced banquet space in town, and the Haggertys' following at Café Mirage when it was on North Main Street combined to make this new venture attractive. Many people took to Facebook to express their feelings or verbally communicated how much they enjoyed Café Mirage's eclectic international menu and how badly they felt for its community-minded owners who were forced out due to escalating rent after their building at 531 North Main St.-which is still vacant-was sold.

Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House
20 Willett Avenue
Port Chester
Expected Opening: Indefinite

Work started a few months ago on the large brick building at the corner of Willett and Abendroth avenues adjacent to the Port Chester marina which had been home to The Willett House for 24 years. It was seized at the end of February 2014 for non-payment of $500,000 in sales tax. The name of the seafood restaurant that will eventually occupy that space-Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House-came to light when the owners donated an Oyster Extravaganza for 12 for a fundraising auction to benefit the Carver Center at the end of February.

Work is progressing slowly at the site, with Gotham Development out of Middle Village, N.Y. the general contractor and employees from Suppa Plumbing and Americold Cooling and Refrigeration Consultants working in the building early this week.

A building permit for $400,000 worth of work and another for $6,866 are posted in the front windows as well as a notice of liquor license pending from the New York Liquor Authority.

I tracked down the GC as well as Saltaire's managing partner Les Barnes inside the gutted kitchen early Tuesday morning, but they are not ready to divulge any details about what they have planned.

"It'll be a very cool space," said Barnes, who also acknowledged that opening day is "still a ways away." He said "there was not much to save here. It was old and tired" after nearly 25 years as The Willett House.

American Bar & Restaurant
25 Willett Avenue
Port Chester
Expected Opening: Unknown

Approval has been given by the Port Chester Planning Commission to American Bar & Restaurant to construct an upscale restaurant and deck for outdoor seating across from The Mariner in space the local water company, most recently Aquarion, occupied for many years. It was a local office where Port Chester, Rye Brook and Rye residents could go to pay their water bills.

Demolition has taken place at this 25 Willett Ave. location and currently you can see inside the building because the end of it has been ripped open. No one was working at the site early this week, and attempts to get contact information to find out more details about what is planned and the timeframe for completion were unsuccessful as of press time.

Misti Café Takeout
100 North Main Street
Port Chester
939-2204
Expected Reopening: Unknown

The owners of the ever-popular Misti Restaurant at 110 North Main St., famous for its fantastic pollo a la brasa and other Peruvian dishes at reasonable prices, have received approval from the Port Chester Planning Commission to expand their former Misti Café Takeout just down the street at #100 into the store next door. Both storefronts have been boarded up for months and recently there were signs of construction taking place inside. However, efforts to discover exactly what's planned and when the restaurant might reopen have not panned out.

Patsy's Pizzeria
50 Abendroth Avenue
Port Chester
Expected Opening: Unknown

Patsy's, the historic coal-oven pizzeria in New York City regarded as one of New York's original pizza joints and known for its traditional New York style thin crust pizza, will eventually be opening an Italian restaurant and pizzeria where Spadaro Ristorante briefly made a splash last summer. Founded in 1933 by Pasquale (Patsy) Lanceri, it is not to be confused with Patsy's Italian Restaurant, the traditional, family-owned and operated Neapolitan eatery located in Manhattan near Carnegie Hall since 1944 with a history of entertaining high-profile patrons.

Although the space was totally renovated to accommodate Spadaro, former Mayor Neil Pagano, owner of the building at 50 Abendroth Ave., reports that the owners are still in the planning stage and are even considering moving the bar.

Michael's Restaurant & Pizzeria
125 Midland Avenue
Port Chester
939-2241

It's been a year in the making, but the fruits of the labor on the building that houses Michael's Restaurant & Pizzeria at 125 Midland Ave. were finally realized this past week with the erection of a new wooden sign and black awnings on the freshly stuccoed structure which has also received all new windows.

Rye Brook resident Michael Iacobelli took over the former Turf Club from his father 30 years ago and now his daughter is running the neighborhood bar and restaurant, known for its pan pizza.

For nostalgic reasons, the sides of the restaurant's new awning read "Turf Club," which is how old timers still refer to the place, said Iacobelli.

Now that the outside is complete, interior renovations of the restaurant and the two apartments above it, currently vacant, will start.

"The interior renovations will begin as soon as Mr. Miley comes to visit," said Iacobelli, referring to Peter Miley, the village's building inspector. "We want the building inspector here to make sure we comply with his wishes."