When people think of Italian ices and ice cream cones, protests and angry words certainly don't come to mind.
But that's just what's happening at Ralph's Italian Ices and Ice Cream in Mamaroneck.
Thursday was supposed to be the final day for the popular shop on Boston Post Road after the Village Zoning Board of Appeals denied a special permit that would have allowed Ralph's to stay open after receiving complaints from local residents about noise and parking.
"Oh, I'll be open on Friday," said owner Scott Rosenberg early Friday. "The fight is on."
Rosenberg has plenty of backing -- at least 200 protesters, complete with signs and chants -- turned out Thursday night for a mostly peaceful protest to keep the shop open.
But so far the Village hasn't changed its mind, even after receiving hundreds of phone calls from residents each day.
So what will happen if Ralph's opens on Friday?
"We are forming a plan and discussing our options," said Daniel Sarnoff, assistant village manager Friday morning.
Rosenberg said he is opening around 11 a.m. or noon.
"I've haven't even begun to fight," he said. "This is costing me a half-million dollars."
The determined business owner said all the village needs to do is call an emergency zoning board meeting and re-think its decision.
"I have done everything they have asked from landscaping to parking to noise," he said. "They can bring on the fight."
The problems at Ralph's started before the shop even opened, when the village Building Department classified it as retail instead of food. The village, admitting it had made an error, rescinded its determination of Ralph's as a retail location and notified him he would need to apply for a special permit and site-plan approval.
"This is just starting, we are going to cost the village a lot of money in this fight," Rosenberg added.
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