Locals push to save shuttered Coney Island Brewery taproom, but owners say closure is final

coney island brewery interior
The Coney Island Brewery taproom closed last month, and locals are hoping to save it.
File photo by Caroline Ourso

Coney Islanders have been making a last-ditch effort to save the beloved Coney Island Brewery taproom, which shuttered last month, but the owners of the brewery say the closure is final.

The Coney Island Brewery gave notice to clientele in October that the bar at the base of Maimonides Park baseball stadium would close within a month.

The last pints were poured on Nov. 9 after the taproom had been struggling to turn a profit for several years due to “seasonality of the area” and the “high costs associated with running a taproom,” according to the Boston Beer Company, which purchased the Coney Island Brewery in 2013.

One local named Marjorie Linares attended the taproom’s closing night and was inspired to start a petition asking Boston Beer to save the beloved spot after seeing what the venue, which hosted markets, trivia nights and live music, meant to others in attendance. 

“I started the petition because so many people loved it so much that I decided to give it one last try,” Linares said after starting the online petition, which has garnered close to 400 signatures. “It wasn’t just a brewery, people came with their kids, their pets. The taproom was a place where no one was really forced to drink anything, so sober people could go and enjoy themselves with friends.”

But despite the movement for the Boston Beer Company to reconsider the closure, the beer giant has no plans to do so, saying it was “flattered” that so many members of the Coney Island community want to keep the taproom open.

“We truly enjoyed serving our neighbors and guests during our time there, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to turn a profit for many years and we simply couldn’t continue on that path any longer,” a spokesperson for the Boston Beer Company said.

coney island brewery
Coney Islanders say the taproom was more than just a bar. File photo by Trey Pentecost

Fans of Coney Island Brewery beers can still enjoy their favorite creative brews in bars, restaurants, and retail locations throughout New York, the parent company confirmed. But former patrons like Marjorie, say the space was a “beacon of light in our community, welcoming people from all walks of life.”

“The brewery is not just a spot for beer lovers but also an integral part of our local economy and culture. It attracts visitors from across New York City’s five boroughs and even beyond to the Tri-State area. The closure will undoubtedly have significant implications on local businesses and activities that rely on its patronage,” Linares wrote, urging people to sign the petition.

She later told Brooklyn Paper she was saddened that the Boston Beer Company would not be reconsidering the closure. 

The taproom was also more than a bar for the local clubs and societies, particularly for the Coney Island Polar Bears. 

“It’s a shame as it was a beautiful space, good vibe, good food, good people and a great place to hang out after a cold swim on a February Sunday,” said Dennis Thomas, president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.

Members of the Polar Bear Club would gather there every weekend during the winter months for camaraderie and refreshment, and Thomas said since the closure, they’ve struggled to find a local hangout to replace the taproom.

“It’s a challenging environment with any kind of seaside business. A lot of businesses have three months to make enough money to sustain themselves pay rent and make a profit. That’s always going to be a challenge,” he said.