Chomp plan generates buzz in Warren

Town to hold zoning board meeting Wednesday

By Ted Hayes
Posted 5/5/21

A popular restaurant's proposed move from Child Street to the Warren Town Wharf will be the subject of a Warren Zoning Board meeting Wednesday evening, where several abutters are expected to voice …

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Chomp plan generates buzz in Warren

Town to hold zoning board meeting Wednesday

Posted

A popular restaurant's proposed move from Child Street to the Warren Town Wharf will be the subject of a Warren Zoning Board meeting Wednesday evening, where several abutters are expected to voice their concerns over the proposed move.

Sam Glynn, the owner and founder of the Chomp burger restaurant at 440 Child St., has proposed moving his popular restaurant to a vacant warehouse at 279 Water St., currently owned by 279 Water St. LLC. If he gets approval, he said, he plans to purchase the property, which lies within the Warren Town Wharf.

While parking at the busy wharf has always been a contentious issue, Warren Town Planner Bob Rulli said this week that "that issue has been put to bed" since Chomp's recent appearance before the Warren Planning Board, as it appears Chomp's plans would not run afoul of the parking requirements drawn up when the town took title to the property from a public trust some years ago.

However, he said some abutters and nearby residents have expressed concern over Chomp's need for a dimensional variance to construct a kitchen on the north side of the warehouse building, where a concrete pad currently sits.

"There's been a fair amount of opposition," said Mr. Rulli, including some from property owners to the north.

Town officials were expected to hold a site visit Tuesday evening, but given the weather it was unknown at press time whether that meeting was held.

The plan

The restaurant, which would seat up to 60 guests inside and 20 on a patio outside, is one of three buildings at 279 Water St. owned collectively by 279 Water St. LLC. Apart from the warehouse facility that Chomp would inhabit, the other two buildings house the Water Street Cafe and the Muse gallery. A representative for Chomp told the planning board last month that there are no plans to displace those businesses if the deal goes through and Chomp purchases the property.

Instead, Mr. Glynn said, the plan is to establish a more spacious Chomp than he and his staff of 14 have been working in for the past eight years.

"Every year we continue to get busier and busier," he said. "We're bursting at every possible seam. With the kitchen that we have, and the amount of food we put out, it shouldn't work but to our team's credit it does. We would love" a larger dining area and just as importantly, a more logically laid out, spacious and usable kitchen.

Apart from the promise of more space, the Water Street move would make a lot of sense from a business perspective and staying in Warren is huge, he said:

"Obviously, the location's great. And being able to stay in a location that's fantastic and build a restaurant that can withstand the demand we have on a nightly basis is very attractive," he said. "Warren's awesome and it's always been so supportive of Chomp over the years."

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