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Brew Cheese to open second location in Northport

Cilantro in Northport closed in December 2016. Brew

Cilantro in Northport closed in December 2016. Brew Cheese is planned to open in its place. Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

It’s been a newsworthy week for Northport and its culinary community. A Tuesday morning fire that gutted Gunther’s Tap Room, a historic bar and longtime Main Street hangout, also shuttered two nearby food and drink businesses. For the full news story, click here.

In better news, however, a brew and cheese store confirmed it is planning to move into the closed Mexican spot Cilantro on nearby Woodbine Avenue.

Stephen Claussell, chef-owner of 7T8 European Fusion at 78 Main St., said his restaurant sustained smoke and water damage and was condemned, at least for now. In lemons-to-lemonade fashion, though, Claussell plans to use the time to do some renovation. “I don’t imagine we’ll be closed for long,” he said.

On the Facebook page of Clipper Ship Tea Company, which is at 80 Main St., owner Melissa Wawrzonek wrote, “Our store is destroyed by water and smoke.” Photos of the shop showed water pooling on the floors and a condemnation notice on the front door.

It’s not as gloomy around the corner, though: A beer and cheese purveyor will soon move into 40 Woodbine Ave., the space that has been empty since Cilantro Mexican Inspired Food closed in December.

David Striffler, owner of Stony Brook’s Brew Cheese, says he will open his second location there by late June, bringing with him eight craft-beer taps and dozens of artisanal cheeses, as well as sandwiches, soups and raclette. “Northport is such a great town, and I love the history here,” said Striffler of his decision to lease the space at Harbor Square, a building that decades ago served as LILCO’s first headquarters.

One of Brew Cheese’s revolving taps will be dedicated to beers from new neighbor Sand City Brewing Co., and another to ciders from Aquebogue’s Woodside Orchards. As well as growler fills, customers can also sip IPA and nibble cheese boards at a handful of tables.

Artie Berke, who closed the five-year-old Cilantro in December and also owns the village’s Nina’s Pizzeria, said he is still looking for a new location to reopen the build-your-own burrito place.

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