Worth Knowing: Former Jesse's Owner proposes condos behind restaurant in Lebanon

Drawing submitted with application for variance

Marc and Patty Milowsky, the former owners of Jesse's restaurant in Lebanon, have proposed building a 26-unit multifamily dwelling in Lebanon behind the restaurant on Route 120.  The Milowskys have submitted an application for a variance to the Lebanon Zoning Board of Adjustment. The application contains a description of the proposed project that includes 26 condominiums in a 40,000 square foot building building with 2 parking spaces per unit. Thirty-four of the spaces would be located in a garage under the building and 22 spaces would be outside. The Jesse's restaurant would remain where it is, but its parking area would be reconfigured.

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The Milowskys applied for a variance  because the property is located in a Light Industrial District that prohibits residential uses. In order to grant the variance, the Zoning Board needs to determine that granting the variance:

  • would not be contrary to the public interest;
  • would not compromise the spirit of the City ordinance; 
  • would lead to substantial justice under the circumstances; and
  • would not lead to a diminishment of the values of surrounding properties

In addition, the Zoning Board needs to make a finding that a literal enforcement of the ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship.

The Zoning Board held its first hearing on the application on Monday, September 17 and continued the matter until its next meeting on October 15.

Ned Redpath, a local realtor who has been active in the Upper Valley real estate market since 1972, submitted a letter in support of the application in which he stated: "There is no question in my mind that the location of the subject property would be better suited for residential purposes than light industrial for a lot of reasons." He listed the property's proximity and access to Hanover, Lebanon and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Marc and Patty Milowsky opened Jesse's Steak, Seafood & Tavern in 1976 as a log cabin dinner house with partners who soon sold their interest to the Milowksys. The original restaurant contained 86 seats. The property is located in both Hanover and Lebanon, with the restaurant building in Hanover and the parking area in Lebanon. In 1983, the Milowskys opened Molly's Balloon on Main Street in Hanover. Jesse's and Molly's have won multiple awards from several different groups over the years, including Favorite Restaurant in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region (Jesse's 2010, 2011), Best Brunch in the Upper Valley (Jesse's 2013, 2016), best luncheon spot (Molly's 2014, 2015, 2016), and best dinner house (Jesse's 2014, 2015, 2016).  

In January 2018, the Milowskys sold Jesse's and Molly's Balloon to long-time employee Anthony Barnett and his wife, Erin. The Milowskys retained ownership of the underlying land.

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