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Delivery & take-out may extend at Cafe Lark

April 22, 2015

by Adel Alshammari

Cafe Lark, the restaurant at 452 Madison Ave. will extend operating hours to serve more customers in the neighborhood by delivery and take-out service, if Serkan Topaktas, the owner of Café Lark, gets city approval. Café Lark offers a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday night evaluated an application for a special use permit by Jeffery Jamison, the attorney for the application, who is in the process of extending operating hours for the delivery and take-out service.

Cafe Lark is located at at 452 Madison Ave/Adel Alshammari

Cafe Lark is located at at 452 Madison Ave/Adel Alshammari

The board is considering the request to lengthen the operating hours  until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, delivery and take-out service reserved to later date. The Zoning Appeals committee is waiting a report from Police Department to learn if there are any recent violations.

The restaurant is located between Lark Street and Knox Street and opposite Washington Park.

“The location is a perfect because it is in a dynamic area of Albany city and close to the famous bars and shops on Madison Ave. where a lot of customers come here especially at night,” Topaktas said.

This is not a first time the owner requested permission to extend operating hours and allow for take-out and delivery service.  The first one was on March 2014 and it was rejected when he asked to operate the restaurant until 2 a.m.  Sunday through Wednesday and 4 a.m. Thursday though Saturday as well as take-out and delivery service. The second time on May 2014, he requested to allow delivery and take-out services and extending operating hours to be until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. After three months on August 2014, the city approved his request under the condition that he provide parking spaces for delivery cars and close it at 2 a.m. Topaktas said  he made arrangements to have two parking spots available for two of his delivery cars . So, He paid $250 for a parking spot at the Mobil station monthly and another for a single spot at the Lark Tavern.

Picture inside Cafe lark from left to right: Serkan Topaktas, Yasemin Topaktas, Baldo Ramirez and Joshua Mondore/ Adel alshammari

Picture inside Cafe lark from left to right: Serkan Topaktas, Yasemin Topaktas, Baldo Ramirez and Joshua Mondore/ Adel alshammari

Topaktas, who graduated from the University at Albany as economics major said that, “ 60 percent of the restaurant’s income comes from delivery service, 30 percent from carry-out orders out off of the restaurant and 10 percent from customers who eat inside the restaurant. Therefore, the late hours are necessity for our business ”. He said that he has invested $400,000 in his business.

“There are many restaurants and businesses work up to 3, 4 and 5 a.m. and another business for 24 hours in the same neighborhood,” Topaktas said. He said that he received a lot support from neighbors, owner business and the neighborhood association about his case. Eleven people attended with him the last common council meeting on August 2014. And now, more than 200 persons signed a document that supports extending operating hours and delivery and carry out services.

During the meeting, board of zoning appeals member, Anton Pasquill, asked Topaktas if his wife and he lived in the same building where Cafe Lark is located. The two live above the restaurant.

Serkan Topaktas with his wife, Yasemin Topaktas, before the meeting start/adel alshammari

Serkan Topaktas with his wife, Yasemin Topaktas, before the meeting start/adel alshammari

A number of individuals in attendance discussed the proposal and expressed their viewpoints.

Currently, many improvements have been completed to patio for the restaurant. Topaktas said by  next week people can enjoy their meals and weather in the same time at the patio of Café Lark.

“Café Lark will be the first restaurant at Albany which delivers breakfast for their customers, ” said Topaktas.-30-

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