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The Craft House, which opened on Freeport's Nautical Mile this summer, closes for the season

A burger with melted Cheddar cheese, mustard and

A burger with melted Cheddar cheese, mustard and bacon jam at The Craft House in Freeport. Credit: David L. Pokress

In summer, Freeport's Nautical Mile is thronged with people. By winter, it turns into a ghost town — and that has compelled The Craft House, one of the Mile's newest restaurants, to close for the low season.

Co-owner Vincent Minutella said he made the decision to close The Craft House, a handsome string of bars and dining rooms, until spring; the final dinner service was last weekend. "The season got the better of us," he said. "You need to be busy; moderate isn't good enough. We underestimated our ability to buck the seasonality of the Nautical Mile."

The Craft House and its sister beer garden, right across Woodcleft Avenue (and also closed until spring), opened in June and earned two-and-a-half stars in Newsday this fall for upscale gastropub dishes from chef Cassandra Quinlan-Ashford as well as an innovative drinks program, including craft cocktails created by award-winning bartender Tracy Johanna.

Minutella said he will switch attention to expanding his other business, Mineola's Black Sheep Ale House, via building a kitchen, doubling the size of the bar and adding a beer garden, all set to debut sometime in 2019. Quinlan-Ashford, who also works as a private chef, will create the menu for an on-site food trailer that will precede the kitchen.

The Craft House is at 42 Woodcleft Ave.

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