NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A new restaurant and market has opened at Iona College in Westchester County, but the place isn’t just for students.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, it’s for the community.
The executive chef of Sage Café Market More on North Avenue in New Rochelle used to work at The Plaza Hotel and says the menu at Sage has something for everyone.
“We have everything on our menu from lobster, we have pate cheeses, we also have gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches,” Brian Crawford told Hsu. “We’re sensitive to both the college environment we’re near, as well as the greater New Rochelle area.”
The Mirage Diner was located there for more than a decade but closed when Iona College bought the land four years ago.
The school has built dormitories and leased out the ground floor to the restaurant and market, which just opened last weekend. While it’s on Iona property, the new place isn’t just for students – it’s open to everyone.
Some residents, like community activist James O’Toole, are not completely happy about the school expansion.
“I think they’re trying to get some community input to say that we are trying to better the community, we are trying to get tax-paying dollars back into city coffers, but what they’ve taken and what they’ve given really have a long way to go,” he said.
But Paul Sutera, from Iona, says the expansion will benefit everyone and, because the school turned the ground floor into commercial space, property taxes are still being paid to the city.
“I think this is a great town-gown relationship where you have the town coming together with the gown and really bringing a small business into this community,” he said.
The owner of Sage says it’s her community the new restaurant is helping to revitalize.
“We’ve been residents of New Rochelle for 55 years. I’ve grown up here,” said Elpi Halaris. “We really felt like there was a need to provide to the community of New Rochelle.”
Iona says it’s the second largest private employer in the city and the restaurant has created 60 new jobs.