Good fences make good neighbors … unless those neighbors include Richard Gere

Pound Ridge resident Richard Gere’s plan to open a dynamic duo of upscale restaurants in Bedford appeared to be cruising along. Restaurant No. 1, Barn at the Bedford Post, launched earlier this year and, as I gushed on RNN a couple weeks ago, it’s phenomenal — creative dishes, cozy horse-country ambiance, locally-grown ingredients. Which is to say, not your typical celebrity-restaurant ploy. (See the menu, which I scanned for my colleague Liz Johnson’s blog, here.)

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Then on Monday the Daily News broke the story that phase two — the larger, more upscale, main Bedford Post restaurant — had hit a snag: The town of Beford said that Gere had erected a 180-foot-long, 5-foot-high cedar fence that was a foot taller than local ordinances permit. Hazel Nourse, head of Bedford’s zoning board, told the DN, “It’s a lovely building, but the fence sticks out like a sore thumb.”

The only reason Gere built the fence in the first place was because neighbors had been complaining that they didn’t want to see the new restaurants’ parking lot — which, when I stopped by a few weeks ago, was packed. Anyway, unlike his stand-offish attitude towards the recent Olympic torch saga, it appears that Gere is willing to bury the hatchet and trim the fence. As his business partner Russell Hernandez said, “If they say you have to have a 4-foot fence, then that’s what we’ll do.”

(The exterior of Hoppfields Restaurant in Bedford at 954 Old Post Road in Bedford: Photo by Elizabeth Orozco / The Journal News; Gere: AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Ted Mann

Ted Mann aspires to join Stephen Baldwin’s Breakthrough Ministry, more commonly known as “skateboarding for the savior." Before becoming a Senior Editor at InTown, he worked at The Atlantic Monthly, the Philadelphia City Paper, and the University of Pennsylvania Press. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The New York Press, and The Pennsylvania Gazette.