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Blind Bat Brewery owner sues over property lease

Paul Dlugokencky, owner of the Blind Bat Brewery,

Paul Dlugokencky, owner of the Blind Bat Brewery, with his Long Island Potato Stout, left, and Sweet Potato Saison, at the Baldwin Farmers Market on April 27, 2013. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The owner of Blind Bat Brewery has sued a Northport property owner for $5,216 in damages after a lease agreement to move the Centerport craft brewer failed. 

Paul Dlugokencky, who runs the brewery out of his Centerport garage, was negotiating a lease for several months with Lee Holcomb, who owns the property at 19 Scudder Ave. The Northport zoning board in April approved a craft brewery at the location.

“Northport is a small town. When people give their word here they’re expected to keep it,” Huntington attorney Christopher Modelewski, who is representing Dlugokencky, said in a statement.

The lease fell through in June over differences about a provision known as “right of first refusal” that would have given Dlugokencky first right to buy the property if it were to be sold.

“Blind Bat had made it clear to Holcomb during these negotiations that an essential term of any lease deal would have to include a right of refusal so that Blind Bat would be able to purchase the premises in the event that Holcomb decided to sell,” according to the court filing.

The lawsuit goes on to say Holcomb agreed to the provision and signed a memorandum of understanding that included the right of first refusal.

Holcomb said Tuesday that his attorney had advised him not to include the provision in the lease, but that he had still been open to negotiate with Dlugokencky.

Holcomb said he has also lost money because he put renting out his building on hold while the lease negotiations continued.

The suit also asks that “all original and copied versions of the business plan and floor layout” be returned to Dlugokencky. Holcomb said he will give back any documents requested.

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