Riverhead Brew House eyes spring opening

Lily Flanagan’s Restaurant Group plans to fill the vacancy left by Peconic County Brewing on the ground floor of the Riverview Lofts apartment building on Main Street after it shuttered suddenly last August. Craft beer fans can hop to another Riverhead brewery in just a few short months. Wayne Meehan, a principal with the Babylon-based hospitality company, hopes to unveil the forthcoming Riverhead Brew House this spring. In addition to renovating the space, the group is currently searching for a brewmaster.

“We’re hoping right off the bat, to come up with an IPA and a lager, and go from there into stouts and sours and stuff like that,” Mr. Meehan said. “We’re going to get further afield, but we got to start somewhere.”

Breweries are nothing new for the downtown Riverhead area, where craft beer fans can visit the likes of long-running Long Ireland and newcomers such as Übergeek and Twin Fork Beer Co. Mr. Meehan said the company had been eying Riverhead for what will be its most eastern location and ultimately decided a brewery would fit right in.

“I think it’s an advantage because I think people go to the area to visit breweries and wineries,” Mr. Meehan said. “There’s a lot of attractions in Riverhead and we just want to be one of them. We actually think we’re going to complement everybody else. I don’t think it’s going to be competition.

“Riverhead is really developing fast and has changed a lot in the last 10 or 15 years,” he added. “I’m assuming over the next 10 or 15 years it will improve for the better, with nice waterfront apartments and other buildings that went up. It’s a nice place to walk around during the day.”

The beers created at Riverhead Brew House will feed the tap lines at Lily Flanagan’s six other dining and drinking hot spots,  such as The Villager in Babylon, The Wharf in Oakdale and others. It will also offer its patrons burgers, flatbreads, pretzels and other casual, American gastropub fare on a seasonally updated menu.

The forthcoming downtown Riverhead joint will not be known as a nightlife spot, Mr. Meehan explained, but rather a family-friendly establishment with indoor and outdoor seating, with plans for an enclosure.

“We all have young kids, some of us have grandkids and we’re hoping to be closed by 11 p.m. the latest on the weekends,” he said. “[It’s for] families who visit the farms, the aquarium and the wineries, and couples. We’re not looking for DJs and nightclubs and stuff like that. We may get into trivias, maybe bingos, brunch … I’m hoping that we can build this beautiful enclosure that will keep the patio open 12 months of the year. That would be a game-changer. It would probably be the coolest enclosure on all of Long Island if it happens.”