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Update: Village Board agrees to oversee state review process for possible brewery move

Blue-Point_brewery

Update: The Patchogue Village board on Monday night agreed to be the lead government agency coordinating the state environmental review process as Blue Point Brewing Company explores a move to the Briarcliffe building on West Main Street.

Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri stressed that the brewery on River Avenue is simply doing “its due diligence” for a possible move, and that people shouldn’t read into the measure as indication any deal is done. He said the brewery is still considering its options for a possible expansion at its current location at River Avenue.

In an interview earlier Monday, before the meeting, Pontieri told greaterpatchogue.com that should Blue Point get its approvals for West Main Street, the brewery would likely move there.

Representatives at Blue Point could not be reached for comment.


Original story: In April, Mayor Paul Pontieri told greaterpatchogue.com that the Blue Point Brewing Company was considering abandoning its expansion plans for River Avenue and moving to Briarcliffe College building on West Main Street instead.

“They’re probably 50-50 one way or the other; they’re doing their due diligence,” Pontieri said.

It now appears Blue Point is breaking for West Main Street, or at least laying the groundwork for a move.

According to an agenda posted online for Monday night’s Village Board meeting, the Village Board will be considering a resolution appointing itself as the lead agency over the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) process for Blue Point’s “West Main Street Project.”

Read more: What is the purpose of a lead agency for SEQR?

The SEQRA process must be carried out in order for a build-out to occur at that location.

Pontieri clarified Monday that the brewery is keeping its options open on River Avenue, while pursuing “parallel paths” that include the Briarcliffe building.

“It’s important to note that no deal is in place,” he said, adding the River Avenue spot does not require a SEQRA review.

But he also expressed confidence that if Blue Point got its environmental approvals it would pursue West Main Street.

Blue Point could not be reached for comment.

The current brewery — 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.

But that was before Briarcliffe College administrators announced in December the college would be closing its doors by 2018. 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 told greaterpatchogue.com in April the property owners had been actively marketing the building since Briarcliffe announced its intentions to “teach out” the remainder of its current enrollees before closing in December 2018.

He also mentioned that Briarcliffe is actually encumbered by its lease until early 2019.

Reached Monday, Mr. D’s Ultimate Fitness owner Dennis Forman said no deal has been reached involving his gym moving from its location.

And if a deal were to be reached, “I wouldn’t be going out of business,” he assured.

“I just put $1 million worth of equipment in the gym,” he said. “We would never be going out of business.”

“If anything we would be moving nearby, to an even bigger space,” he added.

The Village Board meeting starts at 6 p.m. tonight in Village Hall at 14 Baker Street.


This is a developing story; check back at greaterpatchogue.com later for more details.

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