Second round: Coney Island Brewery expanding its Surf Avenue space

Cheers to that: Public house manager Victoria Pitula, left, and front-of-house manager Katherine Telesca, right, had a pint to celebrate Coney Island Brewery’s expansion to fill the former Steeplechase Beer Garden next door, which will nearly triple the brewery’s overall size.
Photo by Julianne McShane

They’ll drink to that!

The beer makers at Coney Island Brewery are expanding into a space roughly three times the size of their current home, complete with a second full bar pouring five new beers on tap, a kitchen, and an area for events, according to managers.

The suds spot’s seasonal success prompted the enlargement, according to its front-of-house manager, who said the new space will accommodate more than twice as many brew fans when it opens this summer.

“Obviously Coney Island is a seasonal place, and during the summer we struggle to fit everybody in here — we pack out completely,” said Katherine Telesca.

The bigger Coney Island Brewery, which is slated to open in June, will include its current Surf Avenue spot — which can fit up to 45 ale-admirers inside, and 200 more in the outdoor beer garden — along with the now-empty space next door, which was formerly the home of Steeplechase Beer Garden until it closed last September.

That storefront will allow the brewers to pack 240 more people inside, and another 150 outside, according to Telesca, who said they plan to expand their current beer garden to include a swath of Surf Avenue sidewalk that stretches all the way from W. 17th Street to MCU Park.

“It’ll be pretty similar to the beer garden we had before, with much more seating, much more space, room for beer garden games and things like that, and we’ll have outdoor taps as well,” she said.

Patrons will have to wait to grab a celebratory pint at the brewery, however, because its chief beer makers temporarily shuttered the spot for about a month on Monday in order to accommodate construction on a nearby sidewalk as part of the city’s controversial plan to raise Surf Avenue between W. 16th and W. 21st in three phases, which began last September.

But the brief closure is a small price to pay for the promise of a bigger brewery, according to Telesca, who said the staff hopes to reopen the spot on Feb. 8, and to break ground on the expansion that same month.

“It’s a tough situation right now, but it’s all going to be worth it in the summer,” she said.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@schnepsmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Coming soon: Coney Island Brewery will expand to fill the former Steeplechase Beer Garden next door, nearly tripling its size, and beer honchos expect to unveil the new space in June.
Photo by Julianne McShane

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