Greenport brewery eyes second North Fork location

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Greenport Harbor Brewing Company owners are considering opening up a second brewery and tasting room in Southold Town.

If you’ve grown accustomed to bellying up the bar at the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company on Carpenter Street, fear not. While brewery owners Richard Vandenburgh and John Liegy do expect to open a second facility at an undisclosed location in Southold Town, they’re not abandoning the village.

“We’re not planning to leave Greenport,” Mr. Vandenburgh said in a telephone interview Monday. “We consider that our heart and soul,” he said.

The new site will contain both a brewing operation and a tasting room, he said.

For about a year, the partners have been seeking space to expand their thriving operation, first opened on Carpenter Street in the village in 2009. They’ve invested more than $150,000 in construction costs in the village, and did much of the work themselves in the old Star Hose Firehouse building.

Every place they looked at since for a second site was too small to accommodate their needs. That is, until they saw the Southold space they now expect to purchase, Mr. Vandenburgh said of their search in the past year. He didn’t want to create a new space only to abandon it in five to seven years because it wouldn’t enable growth, he said.

“Demand is high,” Mr. Vandenburgh said.

He and Mr. Liegy are about a week away from what they expect will be a closing, and have already begun talks with Southold’s building inspector, Mike Verity, about their construction plans. Once the deal to purchase the building has closed, Mr. Vandenburgh said he’ll be happy to talk about why the new site is appropriate for the company’s long-term plans.

In the spring of 2009, Mr. Vandenburgh, a lawyer and longtime home brewer, approached the Greenport Planning Board about converting the old firehouse on Carpenter Street. So popular was the idea at the time that planners were practically ready to give approval as soon as they heard the proposal.

Ultimately, they waived parking requirements for the operation, with building inspector Eileen Wingate determining that since the building was in place prior to 1991, the business could be exempt from the regulation.

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