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Blue Point’s new beer garden gets conditional approval

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After a long discussion over parking calculations, the Patchogue Village Planning Board voted Tuesday evening to conditionally approve Blue Point Brewery’s plans for a new beer garden at its West Main St. location.

Blue Point’s beer garden will include picnic tables on the north side of the building relocated to the east adorned with 360 dimmable warm bulbs for overhead ambiance. A concrete bar top for beer service will also be constructed and shaded with yellow, orange and blue awning sails.

The new feature, which will have 210 fixed seats plus room for standing patrons, is planned to operate from April to October and will follow the brewery’s normal hours of operation.

When the brewery appeared before the village Planning Board last month, many members expressed concern that the renderings were unclear and requested a more traditional package complete with architectural and artistic renderings. Tuesday evening, Blue Point presented the new package, which clarified the scope and design of the project for the Planning Board.

The body also raised concerns over the current restroom situation at the brewery. General manager Carrie Shafir said the brewery will utilize two six-stall restroom trailers for the summer season.

The Planning Board made clear that this arrangement must end soon, and Shafir said the brewery will come before the Planning Board with plans for permanent ground floor restrooms between the summer season and the year’s end. She elaborated that construction would not be feasible during the busy summer season.

Another of the Planning Board’s grievances last month was the brewery’s appearance, likening it to a “junkyard,” due to the various outdoor storage containers. Shafir confirmed the brewery signed a contract for a new warehouse space, and the containers would be removed from the property by June 30.

the conditional approval

Parking was the main focus this time around at Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting. Blue Point projected a parking requirement based on its square footage. However, its new certificate of occupancy has not yet been approved by the fire marshal and the New York State Liquor Authority.

Village code requires restaurants, which is how Blue Point is classified, have one parking stall per two seats, or one per 100 square feet of floor area, or one per three persons legally accommodated, whichever is greater, plus one space for every employee on duty during the largest shift.

The Planning Board originally voted on a motion to adjourn the application until the State Liquor Authority signed off on the plans, including the number of parking spaces.

Then Blue Point general manager Carrie Shafir pointed out that the brewery would be caught in a “chicken and the egg situation.” She said the New York State Liquor Authority is withholding approval of an alteration of their license until the village Planning Board approves the beer garden.

The Planning Board’s motion to adjourn was then rescinded, with a new motion for conditional approval put forth and passed. The approval is dependent upon a parking recalculation and no variances required by the Zoning Board of Appeals following the SLA’s determinations.

The Planning Board also added an additional stipulation to the approval: Blue Point’s previous plans must be reiterated and maintained. Board members expressed discontent with the brewery’s appearance, saying that some plantings from original plans were never implemented.

Noise from either live music or the mass of people on the eastern side of the building was also a concern. Shafir expressed the brewery hopes to remain a good neighbor and be mindful of any extra noise the eastern feature may generate.

Depending on the SLA’s findings, Shafir and other Blue Point representatives may find themselves before the Planning Board once again or introduced to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Check back with GreaterPatchogue for more details.

prior coverage

Top: File photo of a freshly pour brew at Blue Point Brewery (credit: Benny Migliorino).