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Ale house owner addresses concerns over planned beer garden

Mineola trustees may vote in early April after delaying a decision months ago over concerns about the impact of noise and parking on residents near the business on 2nd Street.

The owner of the Black Sheep Ale House

The owner of the Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola, seen here on Oct. 25, 2016, is seeking to open a beer garden. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Village trustees in Mineola will soon decide whether to approve a new beer garden at The Black Sheep Ale House.

Mayor Scott Strauss said last week that the board will probably vote in early April, four months after Black Sheep owner Vincent Minutella presented his plans for a kitchen, restaurant and outdoor beer garden on land next to his craft beer bar on Second Street.

“It’s something we think will also be good for the community,” Minutella told trustees in December. “It will be something cool for us to have because we don’t have anything like that.”

Trustees delayed a vote on Minutella’s plan because he couldn’t answer questions about how noise, parking and unruly patrons might affect nearby residents. Minutella returned last week to the village with answers and a revamped architectural plan.

For noise control, Minutella said his beer garden would be covered by a pergola and enclosed by a 7-foot-tall fence, and that the fencing would be surrounded by a row of arborvitae trees. Minutella said there would also be another row of fencing and arborvitae at the Black Sheep property line.

“There’s literally going to be five levels of sound abatement from this part of the beer garden to our closest neighbor,” he added.

To alleviate parking and noise concerns, Minutella said patrons would no longer be able to park in the small lot just north of the bar. Instead, customers would have to use the municipal lot across the street.

“The people who live next door should have a quieter, more attractive, peaceful existence than they currently have,” he said.

But one neighbor who spoke during the public comment session said the beer garden should be relocated.

“I love the idea of a beer garden, I really do,” said Mineola resident Terence Hale, who has lived in the village for 35 years. “But not in my neighborhood. It’s not fair to us residents here.”

A few of the about half a dozen self-proclaimed “beer nerds” who were in the audience expressed support for Minutella’s plan.

Residents Louise Powers and Michelle Avila said the beer garden would bring more jobs to the village and would be a great place to socialize. Albertson resident Matthew Luce, who frequents the bar, said the expansion would benefit Mineola and its millennials.

“You want younger people in their late 30s, early 40s who have money coming in here,” Luce said.

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