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Patchogue Mayor: Blue Point brewery considering move to Briarcliffe building

Poll | What would you like to see in the Briarcliffe building?

Blue Point Brewing Company may abandon its River Avenue expansion plans in favor of a move to the West Main Street building that Briarcliffe College will be vacating in the not-so-distant future, according to Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri.

“They’re probably 50-50 one way or the other; they’re doing their due diligence,” Pontieri said recently, after a second hearing for Blue Point’s grand River Avenue plans before the Planning Board was postponed on March 22.

“They’re looking at what the economic benefit would be of each space,” Pontieri said.

In a statement, Blue Point president Todd Ahsmann confirmed Blue Point has “had meetings to explore local options.”

“But we haven’t made any final decisions,” he added. “We’re really proud of our success and look forward to making more great beers for beer lovers to enjoy. Patchogue is our home and it’s our desire to stay rooted here.” 

The brewery itself — which was established in a shipyard at its current River Avenue location in 1998‚ was purchased in 2014 by the brewers of Budweiser and Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Under plans reported by greaterpatchogue.com last year, Blue Point Brewing was looking to replace its current tasting room with a new one to the east of the current location.

If built, the new tasting room would be along the riverfront and feature full views of the water.

Story continues below photo of River Avenue plans.

Blue Point Brewery expansion

Pontieri said building at the River Avenue location poses some obstacles.

“It’s a smaller property in the middle of a residential area, so you have some obstacles there,” he said. “There’s also the layout of the property, with the trucks coming in and out. But the benefit is the beautiful view, with access to the river. As far as a tasting room venue, there’s nothing better.”

The Briarcliffe location on the other hand, is larger and has easier access to highways, he said.

“If they’re looking to brew more beer as well as create a venue, the Briarcliffe building works better,” he said.

Briarcliffe administrators announced in December that the for-profit college would be closing by 2018 because of declining enrollment and economic problems.

The large, brick building, which also houses Flo’s Luncheonette and Mr. D’s Ultimate Fitness, is owned by Swezey Real Estate Development.

David Knapp of Swezey Real Estate did not mention Blue Point by name, but said the property owners have been actively marketing the building since Briarcliffe announced its intentions to “teach out” the remainder of its current enrollees before closing in December 2018.

“We have shown and talked to various groups, including academic, medical, and others,” Knapp said. “It is a unique space and as of now we have had no offers to fill the space currently occupied by Briarcliffe. Although we really just began the process at the beginning of the year.”

He said Briarcliffe is actually encumbered by its lease until early 2019.

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com