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Jamesport Vineyards pizza oven and bistro approved

Jamesport Vineyards finally received approval for an outdoor pizza oven and bistro Thursday at the Riverhead Planning Board meeting.

The town issued a violation to the business after it built the pizza oven in 2012 without permits from Riverhead Town or the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

“We’ve been working with the health department and the town to ensure that we continue to do what we’ve been doing there,” applicant Ron Goerler Jr. said. “Looking forward, it’s really to solidify the future for the next generation.”

The approval allows for a 49-seat bistro, which is considered an accessory use to the pre-existing tasting room, which is also an accessory use, on the north side of Main Road in Jamesport. The applicants, Ron Goerler Sr. and Ron Goerler Jr., want to commingle the two uses in the existing building.

The town’s master plan included a bistro as a special permit use in the Rural Corridor when it was adopted in 2004, but it was unclear if it was meant to be a separate use or commingled with other uses as the applicants propose.

Mr. Goerler added that the winery would only be open until 10 p.m. at the latest.

“We want to be able to take the business where it’s a full experience for somebody to come to the winery, taste the wine, taste the food and relax and enjoy themselves,” Mr. Goerler said. “I think the days of just tasting wine, in my opinion, are over.”

Jamesport Vineyards also received approval to expand its gravel parking lot and install new pole-mounted lighting fixtures on the 4.2-acre site.

The main winery building on the property was built with town building permits and received a certificate of occupancy in 1993.

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