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Beer lovers plan to bring brewery and taproom to downtown Copiague

The Babylon Zoning Board of Appeals recently granted

The Babylon Zoning Board of Appeals recently granted a parking variance to the brewery's owners, Anthony Sorice and Ryan Mauban, and waived a 61-parking spot requirement. Credit: James Carbone

Two beer enthusiasts are hoping to take their affection for ale and open a 4,400-square-foot brewery and taproom near the Copiague train station.

The business would be the newest addition to the hamlet, where town officials have pushed downtown revitalization — greenlighting housing developments and funding storefront beautifications and walkway improvements.

The Root + Branch Brewing company’s proposal for an industrial property at 360 Marconi Blvd. calls for a 3,123-square-foot brewery and a 1,280-square-foot tasting room.

It would be in the east wing of the horseshoe-shaped building, while a metal fabrication company would remain in the west wing.

The brewery would have 62 seats in the tasting room and another 16 outside, Nicole Blanda, the company’s Melville-based attorney, said.

“It would be an asset to the downtown Copiague community” by giving residents something to walk to, Blanda said.

The Babylon Zoning Board of Appeals recently granted a parking variance to brewing professionals and owners Anthony Sorice and Ryan Mauban, waiving a 61-parking spot requirement.

Sorice and Mauban did not respond to requests for comment.

Blanda said customers are expected mostly in the evening and on weekends and can park in the adjacent LIRR lots, which don’t require permits and aren’t busy during those hours.

Customers of Root + Branch Brewing, which still needs a special-use permit and site plan approval from the town, could also use on-street metered parking, Blanda said.

Closing hours would be limited to midnight Thursday to Saturday and to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays, and there will be no live music and no outdoor speakers or paging systems, according to the town’s planning documents and Blanda.

The property’s location next to the Copiague stop on the Long Island Rail Road fits into the Town of Babylon’s plan to make the hamlet more walkable, support transit-oriented development and revitalize downtown businesses.

In 2015, the town rezoned downtown Copiague to spur development, and since then created a grant program to help fund storefront facade upgrades, financed improvements to sidewalks and crosswalks and approved several apartment developments near the train station.

The proposed brewery would be next to two new 20-unit apartment buildings on Marconi Boulevard and down the street from a building on the corner of Marconi Boulevard and Great Neck Road that is under construction and will create 12 apartments and retail space.

The 90-unit Copiague Commons, a mixed-income housing complex across the train tracks on nearby Railroad Avenue, was completed in 2017.

Sharon Fattoruso, president of the Copiague Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed brewery would be a welcome addition.

“Copiague really doesn’t have much to offer in the downtown area as far as any kind of restaurants, so this brewery could be a good thing to draw people to that area,” she said.

With more than 100 new apartments in the area, residents in the transit-oriented developments want to have something other than the train to walk to, Fattoruso said.

“We need different businesses in the downtown area,” she said. “We can only try to better our community.”

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