The Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola, Oct. 25, 2016.

The Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola, Oct. 25, 2016. Credit: Daniel Brennan

A Mineola bar owner wants to expand his tavern and open a beer garden, but residents who live nearby oppose the idea, saying it would be too close to homes.

Vincent Minutella, who owns Black Sheep Ale House craft beer tavern on Second Street, filed an application with the village and Nassau County for a special use permit to construct a kitchen, restaurant and outdoor beer garden. Minutella told village board members at a Dec. 13 meeting that he has owned Black Sheep since January 2010 and believes his beer garden idea might be a first for the village.

“It’s something we think will also be good for the community,” he said. “It will be something cool for us to have because we don’t have anything like that.”

Residents called the idea inappropriate for the location.

“You have a great idea, but not in my neighborhood,” Terence Hale, who lives just north of the tavern on Roslyn Road told Minutella at the meeting. “I’m all about making Mineola better, but not in this spot. The residences are too close.”

Hale, nearby resident Robert Mandello and others said they believe a beer garden would bring unwanted noise and intoxicated patrons who will leave Black Sheep, spill into nearby neighborhoods and damage property. Nassau County officials and Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss expressed the same concerns.

“My concern is what if it becomes unruly,” Strauss said.

The county has not granted Minutella a permit, citing unanswered questions about its potential impact to neighbors.

“Such a use is a potential nuisance to nearby residents from the standpoint of noise pollution, lighting spillover onto residential properties, litter, and traffic,” Nassau County planning commissioners wrote in their Nov. 30 resolution about the proposal. “The village should require that the applicant address these issues to the satisfaction of the village and nearby residents, including hours of operation.”

Bob Miller, Black Sheep’s bar manager, said he doesn’t think the beer garden would bring noisy patrons because the bar’s current clientele is between 25 and 35 years old, and those customers are careful not to disturb neighbors.

“We do have our 21-year-olds that come in, but those that come in aren’t looking for beer pong and Jell-O shots,” Miller said.

Village trustees tabled their decision on the Black Sheep expansion until Minutella submits a plan detailing how he would address noise, traffic, parking and lighting concerns from residents. Minutella said he was committed to addressing their issues.

“We very much want our neighbors to be happy about the way we run the business,” he said.

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