North Fork Brewing Company seeks to open in former firehouse

North Fork Brewing Company’s special permit application to build a brewery and tasting room in part of the former Riverhead Fire Department headquarters on Second Street faced no opposition — and generated no public comment — during a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Board last week.

The company, headed by cousins Peter Barraud of Baiting Hollow and Ian Van Bourgondien of Southold, must obtain a special permit approval from the Town Board in order to proceed.

North Fork Brewing Company seeks to become one of two breweries in the former firehouse building; Long Beard Brewing Company also has town approval to build a brewery on the east side of the building. North Fork Brewing plans to build on the west side.

Craig Waltz of Long Beard said they are awaiting their license from New York State before they can open.

North Fork Brewing Company’s proposal includes a tasting room and retail space, and plans to use hops grown on their hops farm in Peconic, according to Mr. Barraud.

“Our goal has always been to be — and we are — fully licensed as a farm brewery and to continue to follow the guidelines of New York State of incorporating products that can grow on Long Island,” Mr. Barraud said.

The Town Board imposed a restrictions that the operation stay open no later than 9 p.m., and that a dumpster on the property be screened, which the applicants agreed to.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio also recommended building a fence along an adjacent residential property, and making that a condition of the approval, which other board members agreed with.

“Sounds like you bought yourself a fence,” Supervisor Sean Walter told the applicants.

The Town Board closed the public hearing except for written comments, which must be submitted by Dec. 1.

The parking lot on the former firehouse property is owned by the town and is part of the its public parking district.

The firehouse property itself is owned by Bob Castaldi, who also owns the Suffolk Theater.

Other breweries that have already opened in Riverhead Town include Long Ireland on Pulaski Street, Jamesport Farm Brewery on Sound Avenue, Crooked Ladder on West Main Street and Moustache Brewing Company on Hallet Street in Polish Town.

In addition to the Long Beard and North Fork Brewing Company, Twin Fork Beer is also in the process of applying to build a brewery on Raynor Avenue in Riverhead.

Correction: The company must obtain a special permit from the Town Board, but Planning Board approval is not required since there is no external work to the site.

[email protected]