Business Is Booming in Pleasantville
What’s behind the surge of new restaurants and shops opening in this central Westchester town?
Pleasantville's Mission Taqueria -Photos for Prime Real Estate credit to Sue Bolen -Photos for Falafel Taco credit to Jonathan Langsam
Photo by Donna Dootan
Pleasantville prides itself on maintaining a quaint, family-friendly vibe. Boutique shops, lush parks, and gorgeous architecture help give Pleasantville its unique character. In recent months, a plethora of businesses have taken notice of this charm. Several restaurants have taken up roots in Pleasantville, offering the town of 7,150 a wide array of exciting new culinary experiences. Pleasantville’s prime location in the center of Westchester County seems to play a factor in this boom as well.
Photo by Mike Ferarra, Soiuthern TABLE
Southern Table, which opened in March on Marble Avenue, offers Southern-style comfort favorites like chicken and waffles, cheddar biscuits, pulled pork, and shrimp and grits.
“There is nothing like Southern Table in Westchester,” says owner Michael Ferrara. “There isn’t a Southern restaurant like ours with this kind of atmosphere.”
For Ferrara, opening in Pleasantville was an easy choice. He also co-owns Wood and Fire, an Italian eatery and pizzeria just down the street from Southern Table. The close proximity allows him to run both businesses with ease. When Wood and Fire opened in 2015, Pleasantville’s restaurant scene looked much different.
Photo by Mike Ferarra
“When we started Wood and Fire, there weren't many restaurants in town,” Ferrara says. "Since we opened three years ago, we've had great success. People saw what we did with Wood and Fire and they thought it [Pleasantville] was a good place to open a business."
Ferrara believes the combination of recent construction projects and favorable tax rates is also driving businesses to Pleasantville.
“They’re building in Pleasantville,” he continues. “Apartments, town houses, it’s construction and new business, plus taxes are still reasonable.”
These new restaurants reflect Pleasantville’s cultural vitality. Falafel Taco, which opened its doors in April, mixes Mexican and Middle Eastern flavors seamlessly. Order latkes with fresh guacamole or Mexican matzo ball soup for a tantalizing flavor experience. Co-owner Jonathan Langsam said Pleasantville was a no-brainer for starting his cross-cultural business.
“We live here and have been a part of the community,” Langsam says. “What made this decision even better for us was that there is a construction boom in and out of town. This meant that once we found our spot, there was no looking back.”
Playa Bowls, a New Jersey-based chain, introduced itself to Pleasantville earlier this year, too. Playa Bowls specializes in serving a variety of healthy bowls composed of ingredients like acai, oatmeal, kale, chia, cacao and coconut.
Photo by Amanda James
And Mission Taqueria, serving Mexican fare with a modern twist, opened in May. Co-owners Tony Fortunate, Mitchell Dennis, and Andrew Kotchen envisioned Mission Taqueria as a chic spot for date nights and cocktail meetups alike. They credit Pleasantville’s supportive residents in making the town ideal for a new modern restaurant.
“Pleasantville is a real community with extremely welcoming people where everyone knows their neighbor and takes pride in their town,” the three co-owners said in a joint statement. “It's an established, yet evolving destination. People care about the downtown and are excited to support local businesses and have a new chic restaurant to enjoy.”
Pleasantville’s business boom is not confined to the culinary realm, either. Te Plus Te, a home and body care shop, came to Marble Avenue in February. Te+Te sells Japanese-inspired products, from organic teas to culinary items to soaps and moisturizers. Founder and 19-year Pleasantville resident Eiko Miyazaki never thought twice about opening a business in her hometown.
“I chose this town because it’s a walking town and the sidewalks give it a relaxing small community feel,” she says of Pleasantville. “I enjoy walking to my shop from home, from the store to the post office. It gives me balance between digital and off-digital for both business and personal life.”
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Miyazaki also believes Pleasantville offers an exciting mix of “urban and suburban flair” with local touchstones like the Jacob Burns Film Center, the Pleasantville Farmer’s Market, and annual the Pleasantville Music Festival.
“Te+Te fits right in,” she adds.
That seems to be the mood around many of these new establishments. There is a contagious optimism among these business owners borne from a deep love for the local community and excitement for its continued growth.
“We love the town and have been part of the community for almost 20 years,” says Falafel Taco’s Langsam. “We are happy to please the community and are so happy to be here.”