BELLPORT VILLAGE

Food trucks and cornhole is a go

Bellport Brewing Co. obtains permits for side yard use

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The Village of Bellport Zoning Board unanimously approved special permit requests made by the Bellport Brewing Co. at 14 Station Road for the use of their side yard for seating and outdoor games like cornhole as well as usage of the south-rear area for a food truck. 

A public hearing was heard late last week, no members of the public spoke for or against the proposal. The details of the side-yard will now go to planning prior to implementation.

Partner of the business John Turner spoke seeking the special permitting to also allow for the use of a “jockey bar” or ice chest near the building on the cement portion of the side yard to allow for the distribution of drinks. According to State Liquor Authority law, brewery patrons are not allowed to bring drinks from the main building, across the front, passed the antique shop storage unit to the grassy area and vice versa.

“One common feature of a brewery is to have outdoor seating area to take a beverage and sit outside and play games,” he said, “and a food truck to provide for the purchase of food products to go along with the beer.”

The grassy side yard area to the south of the building has since been enclosed by a chain link fence and two gates with signage stating no beverages are allowed passed that point. The area, according to Turner, accommodates 36 patrons with sporadic Adirondack chairs and picnic tables with an area for cornhole and horseshoes in the south western corner. A compacted gravel pathway has also been installed to allow for easy access to the beer station area and food truck. Unique to the property, Turner added, will be a hops garden area with a variety of hop vines for education and usage in the product.

Board member Michael Cohen questioned the possibility of screening in the yard, however, board chair James Wood said that had been discussed but it was found that because the brewery is situated in the commercial district the open area would “add to the downtown feel.”

Board member Michael Mizarhi questioned how late the food truck would operate, though Turner promised the side yard use and food truck would shut down when the brewery did. The hours of operation do not go beyond 9 p.m. and are typically from noon to 6 or 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

With that being said, one revision was made to ensure the food truck and side yard use would be limited to hours of operation not to exceed 9:30 p.m. as part of the special permit.

The owners of the brewery had been upfront about the intentions to use the side yard since seeking a code amendment prior to opening back in August of last year. The outdoor area, Turner said at that time, would be limited to a fenced-in picnic area in the front, and eventually a connected fenced-in area in the rear on the grass for games like cornhole during the warmer months.

According to village attorney David Moran, the site should only be used for outdoor dining and drinking without waiter service. Turner also explained during the 2020 public hearing that food trucks are an integral part of running a successful brewery, though there would not be a food truck available every day. 

The food truck will only be stationed on the gravel in the rear, away from the road. Though the permit was granted, the approval of the accessory use for the food trucks would be made on a yearly basis.

This Saturday, the brewery will hold a St. Patrick’s Day event with commemorative cups and corned beef and cabbage sandwiches and platters. Local pipes and drums will also be there.

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