New restaurant and catering hall coming to Milford’s Walnut Beach

A catering hall and restaurant called Tyde at Walnut Beach will be constructed in a new building at the site of the former Costa Azzurra restaurant and catering hall at 72 Broadway, following recent unanimous Planning and Zoning Board coastal site plan approval.

Peter and Antonietta Landino plan to construct a restaurant and banquet building on the 1.72-acre property in the Corridor Design Development District-2 zone. The Landinos are the contract purchasers for the property.

Costa Azzurra closed in December 2019, following the death of owner Sebastiano “Benny” Faustini on Aug. 1, 2019. The property is owned by his widow, Livio Faustini. The Landinos operate Cascade Fine Catering, a wedding facility and banquet hall in Hamden.

The existing single-story 12,204-square-foot building will be razed and replaced with a two-story, 36.5-foot tall building with a nearly identical size of 12,203 square feet. Since the new structure will be two stories, it will have a smaller footprint of 8,209 square feet, as compared to the 11,259-square-foot footprint of the current building. A 2,016-square-foot patio will remain the same size.

The facility plans to offer restaurant service on the second floor Mondays to Wednesdays. It will also be open on Sundays for brunch. Weddings, banquets, social gatherings and corporate events will use the first-floor ballroom Thursdays through Saturdays and on Sunday evenings, plans show. The catering facility will have hours between 7 a.m. and midnight, depending on the function. When banquets are taking place, guests of that function will use the second floor restaurant for a cocktail hour.

Architect Jonathan Koss said the current building is located at elevation of 10 feet, while the new building will be constructed at elevation of 14 feet, which he said would make it “fully compliant” with FEMA regulations. Koss said the building would be constructed from masonry, designed to be durable in the face of wind and weather. He said the New England roofline would complement the neighborhood. The property is within the FEMA flood zones AE-12 and VE-15.

According to the plans prepared by Project Engineer Alan Shepard, parking will remain at 90 vehicles with four handicap accessible spaces. The new facility will have approximately 5,000 square feet less of impervious surface than the existing property. Rainwater run-off will be handled by the existing dry wells with proposed 4- by 4-foot galleries to handle state water quality volumes. The new project will not increase run-off or change existing run-off patterns.

Attorney Joseph Porto said that a sliver of land ranging in width from 1.5 feet to 2.4 feet along the Ann Street side would be landscaped. He said that no part of a car should extend beyond the boundary line of the property.

Landscape Architect Dean Pushlar said he put together a native plant palette, including deciduous and evergreen trees for shade, salt tolerant tall junipers for screening, and mixture of shrubs and perennials, surrounding the building to add color. Currently, the property has almost no landscaping.

He said some perennial grasses four to feet high would be planted in the easement along Ann Street “to give a little bit of buffer to Ann Street.”

The approval includes the condition that the city must approve the use of a portion of the right of way along Ann Street for the landscaping. The applicant must also meet the requirements of the city engineer as detailed in his report on the project. City Engineer Gregory H. Pidluski had recommendations related to the proposed stormwater management system and the sanitary sewer plans. Pidluski also wrote that the existing curbs and sidewalks would need to be replaced due to their fair to poor condition.