BETHLEHEM The Italian restaurant and pizzeria Casa Mia in Glenmont may soon be expanding.
Owner and Chef Raymond Cecunjanin on Thursday, March 15, presented plans before the town’s Development Planning Committee to replace the deck and outside seating area on the south side of the building with a larger banquet room.
“The deck is underused,” said Cecunjanin. “I spent all that money doing the deck and it didn’t pay off. Its use depends on the weather too much.”
Cecunjanin said he took over the restaurant 1994 and at the time Casa Mia was one of the few eateries on Route 9W in Glenmont. Over time, the area has became more developed and larger chain restaurants moved in.
“The competition is stiff ever since all of these businesses came in,” he said.
Cecunjanin told the committee there was previously 3,000 square feet of banquet space upstairs that he converted into apartments. He said it was hard for seniors to climb the stairs and he would get complaints, so he changed it over to housing to continue to make money.
“Plus, the space is probably not handicap accessible and no longer up to code,” pointed out Director of Economic Development and Planning Mike Morelli.
The conversion left the restaurant without a banquet space for larger parties. Cecunjanin said there is a small room behind the bar for 40 people and another room for special events that seats about 30 people. The main dining room seats about 70 people.
“I can’t close weekends for a private party because that’s our busiest time,” he said. “I’m losing out on bridal and wedding parties.”
He now opens during lunch hours for larger private parties, but it sometimes leaves guests cut off from each other, sitting in different rooms. The new plans would convert the 1,100-square-foot deck into a 1,700-square-foot banquet hall.