It was about five years ago when, while visiting the Northport Farmers Market, I walked up to the Blind Bat Brewery kiosk and asked owner Paul Dlugokencky about a rumor. "So, I heard you're looking for a brick and mortar spot?" Dlugokencky had been brewing out of his Centerport garage since 2008; I was a total stranger buying a crowler.
Nevertheless, Dlugokencky was instantly friendly and narrated a quickfire tale about a spot in Smithtown that had fallen through, and another place that was likely not to work out, and that he was still on the lookout. It sounded like a roller coaster saga.
It would be several more years — includiing a close call with a Northport spot in 2014 — until Dlugokencky found the perfect home for his taproom, in a strip of shops in Centerport that also holds Blondies Bake Shop and the Beach Pub. Blind Bat Brewery Bistro & Take-Away joins the B-name party, a small, winsome place with a few tables and a menu of savory pastries, burgers, sausages and snacks, plus six taps pouring Blind Bat's charismatically named and distinctive beers, such as Be Bop Belgian-style IPA, Long Island Potato Stout and Old Walt Smoked Wit (there are six taps in all).
The bistro takes up the storefront that most recently held The Fish Stop; the ocean blues and teals remain, but food is more land-based (and sourced heavily from Long Island and New York State), from grass-fed "SmmmashedBurgers," (beef or turkey) on an English muffin with pickles, onions and "secret sauce," as well as potato-onion duck bacon knishes, organic zucchini and ricotta tarts, and smoked D’Artagnan sausages on rolls. Vittles starting at $1.25 for bags of North Fork Potato Chips and top out at $10.95 for a plate of fresh hummus and organic veggies. Twelve-ounce glasses of beer are $6, growlers are $20 and Dlugokencky said canned beer will soon be available, as will more menu items. "We're always trying new recipes," he said last month, including a forthcoming veggie burger.
After such a long, circutious road, there is the sense of a dream long realized on Washington Drive.
Blind Bat Brewery Bistro and Take-Away, 94 Washington Dr., Centerport. 631-944-3333. blindbatbrewery.com. For now, open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.