Freeport’s Nautical Mile has a new beer-enthusiast-friendly watering hole.
Vincent Minutella, the owner of Mineola’s Black Sheep Ale House, is bringing the same relaxed connoisseurship to the waterfront deck that most recently was The Tides. The Beer Garden recently opened with 11 craft beers on tap (from Lil’ Raspy from Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery to Hefeweissbier from Weihenstephaner, the Bavarian brewery that claims to be the world’s oldest), another four in cans and one 22-ounce “specialty bottle,” Garvies Point Paddle Blender, an imperial vanilla porter aged in Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon barrels. (There are also bottles of Bud, Heineken and the like, plus a small wine list.)
“We are striving to make this accessible to the average Nautical Mile goer,” he said, “but we also want to draw people who are reticent to come to the Mile because it’s too noisy, too clubby.”
The deck, all of which is or can be canopied, has about 160 seats. No drinkers will be tempted to go hungry. Chef Michael Flowers (formerly of Hush Bistro in Huntington) has created a brew-friendly menu that includes fish tacos (made with avocado, spicy mayonnaise, pickled onions and cotija cheese), fish and chips (batter-fried cod with house-cut fries) and lobster bao buns (with citrus aioli and tarragon brown butter) as well as burgers, dogs and more. Most menu items are in the $10 to $14 range; most beers, from $8 to $10.
Minutella is joined in the venture by two Mineola veterans, Bob Miller, formerly the Black Sheep’s bar manager, and Liam Whyte, an award-winning bartender whose drink-mixing skills are matched by his storytelling gifts. The three men are also poised to open an ambitious restaurant, The Craft House, just across Woodcleft Avenue. Flowers is also running that kitchen, which will offer elevated pub fare as well as a fine-dining menu.
For now, The Beer Garden is open Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday 4 to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Beer Garden is at 43 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport, 516-665-2585.