The New York Daily News stated recently that several Greek restaurants in Astoria have come under fire from local residents for illegally using street parking spaces for its private valet service. The parking situation has caused an uproar from the residents.
The owner of Telly’s Taverna said she didn’t realize her valets were causing a nuisance. The Daily News observed a valet worker for the restaurant on a recent busy Saturday night. The worker placed a cone in empty spaces on 23rd Ave. as cars left and replaced them with customer’s vehicles as they arrived. The practice of reserving a public parking space with any type of device is illegal, according to the city Department of Transportation. The Police Department can enforce the law and ticket anyone officers find breaking it.
The News observed Stamatis Restaurant reserving spaces with the traffic cones as well. “They are only doing it on Friday and Saturday night,” said one resident who did not want to give his name. “These are small businesses and hardworking people. All the restaurants do it. It’s really not a big deal.”
Telly’s owner Nana Loiselle, insists she would never intentionally cause a problem for anyone in her neighborhood. The restaurant began its valet service about six months ago and uses a parking lot around the corner Loiselle stated. She pays $450 every weekend to use the space. “I don’t think I own the street and I just want to make my customers happy…If one of my valets was blocking a spot with a cone and someone needed the space, all they would have to do is ask, and I would move it and gladly give them the space.”
Stamatis owner Anna Bililis said she also rents a parking lot for her valet service. “What can I say, you say you saw it, but I honestly didn’t know that happens” Bililis claimed.