The Western Beef location at 61 Second Street in Mineola is closing its doors soon. (Credit: Janet Burns)

Checking In On Second Street

If you’ve been walking, driving, or shopping your way through downtown Mineola lately (which we’ll always recommend), you may have noticed some changes are underway or upcoming among the businesses along Second Street. Nassau Illustrated News recently checked in with Mineola Mayor Paul Pereira about some of these developments and what we know, or don’t know, about what’s in the pipeline for downtown Mineola.

So Long, Western Beef
Regarding the much-discussed upcoming closure of Western Beef, which doesn’t have a set date yet, Mayor Pereira noted, “They have been announcing that they have been closing for probably at least two years now. I do think it’s probably imminent. They do have another store just over the village line, in Carle Place.”

As to what will come after the Western Beef on that lot, Pereira said, “There are no projects that have been presented to the village, no ideas for what may become of the space after, if and when Western Beef leaves.”

Mamma Gina’s: Going Strong
Of course, Western Beef isn’t the only local business in that space: Mamma Gina’s Pizza has been nestled in its current location next to Western Beef for close to 25 years, and staff say they haven’t been given a timeline for the supermarket’s closure, either. But what they do know is that they will be able to stay in the same place on Second Street for the time being, and don’t have immediate plans to relocate elsewhere.

Mayor Pereira noted, “There’s been a lot of chatter about NYU Langone, or housing coming in, and all those things could potentially be true, but at this moment we have no information, no ideas, no proposals, no communication as to any future plans.”

“What I would like to see there is a supermarket, because we do need one, but we are not privy to any plans by the owner in terms of the future of the site.”

Demolition at Main Street
Following dual fires on Main Street at Second Street in Mineola three years ago, the Discount Store and adjacent businesses at that location long sat empty, and have finally been demolished this spring. Again, said Mayor Pereira, it’s not known what will come next there; but it was time for the structures to come down, anyway.

“My priority in the immediate was to get those buildings down because they were an eyesore, and we’re trying to build up Second Street and Main Street.”

“Obviously, we won this $4.5 million NY Forward grant, most of which is going to be used in the downtown area. The first step was to get this down. The next step was to get the owner to develop the property, but an obvious bump in the road is that the owner of the remaining building on that property is not the same as the owner of the rest of the property. It’s my understanding that they’re in negotations to purchase the building. Again, there’s been a lot of chatter about what it could be, and we have zero projects before us. I did meet about a month ago with the owner of the property, and I did tell him that I would like him to come back to us with a project ASAP, whether residential, commercial, a combination thereof. I would like to see something go there, and I’m hoping in the next few months we’ll have further discussions. Because it is part of the historic overlay district that we created a few years ago, it can’t be as high as Morgan Parc down the street; it can only be 40 feet high.”

Restoration at Willis Avenue
The building at Second Street and Willis Avenue that housed a former deli and residential units has been under construction lately, but it’s going to stay the same height and likely have the same mix of residential and commercial spaces, Mayor Pereira said. “It’s just getting a face lift.”

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