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Greenport Residents Question Sale of Beer in Mitchell Park

Some feel it was not fair to taxpayers for Greenport Harbor Brewery to set up a beer garden in the park during Maritime Festival weekend.

After Maritime Festival weekend, members of the Greenport Village Board and a few residents discussed what worked and what did not over the weekend during a board meeting Monday night, and one resident said he disapproved of the sale of beer in Mitchell Park — a park that belongs to the public.

“You won’t allow a group like San Simeon in,” said Bill Swiskey of Greenport, referring to a board resolution earlier this year to deny the use of the park for a local nursing home’s fundraising gala for the second consecutive year. “But you’ll allow a merchant to sell beer in the park — this is just beyond me.”

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company set up a beer garden near Aldo’s coffee shop in the park, as they did during the Tall Ships festival over Memorial Day weekend. Other vendors in the park included Eastern Long Island Hospital and non-profit groups like the East End Seaport Museum and the American Heart Association. Other businesses sold alcohol but did so on the street.

Greenport Mayor David Nyce explained during the meeting that Greenport Harbor Brewing Company was one of the corporate sponsors of the Maritime Festival — which is a fundraiser for the East End Seaport Museum and is organized by the board of the museum — and the board decided to allow them to use the park for this reason.

“The museum modeled the festival off of the Memorial Day event, which is a good model,” Nyce said. “They are our local brewery and had their own section fenced off with their own security, and everything went very smoothly.”

Nyce congratulated the museum board for this year’s Maritime Festival, saying that though there were a few wrinkles, it was a much more focused event than those of year’s past.

“I think it was an all-inclusive event for the entire business district, not having so many outside vendors,” he said. “Even for non-business-owning residents, having a thriving downtown is absolutely necessary for the village to continue.”

Resident John Saladino said that though he didn’t necessarily agree with Swiskey about selling beer in the park, he said he did have a problem with renting the park to a business when the village will not see a direct return.

“I understand this festival is to profit the museum, but I think moving forward the village should partner with the museum when they give up their whole village for the museum,” he said. “The taxpayers, who don’t own a bar or a restaurant, should get a little something back. I just think that would be fair.”

What do you think? Tell us in the comment boxes below.

Dorothy K Rossi September 26, 2012 at 03:32 AM
I have lived here all of my life and everytime one of the Northfork towns has something going on there are all of these people who complain because the traffic was an inconvenience or the music was to loud; or people were drinking; kids were laughing to loud; their store was blocked by vendors so no one came in to shop; the guy selling beer made money and I didn't; its rediculous you all sound like a bunch of school kids, I was at the festival for two days it was beautiful, kids had a ball, I didn't see anyone stumbling around, the beer garden was a great idea and the food was wonderful! I go to a lot of festivals because they are fun to take part in, I love to check out the vendors to see what unique things they have and I don't think I have ever gone into a store in the town that was hosting the festival, if I wanted to shop in the stores I could do that when the town wasn't so crowded, people don't go to festivals to shop in the stores, they like a beer garden in the park, some local talent singing on the corner, the beauty of a warm sunny day, its not always about the money. Have some fun, life is short!
unknownauthor September 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM
"A" for effort ! The Maritime festival take's a village to make it happen . If you didn't enjoy it , than next year help to make it better . Volunteer , join the team . Anyway !, Also I Think a lot of folk's brought a beer in the garden ,just to has a chance to sit down for a few moment's to rest . Also saw a lot of local's just enjoying one beer.The village might want to add a couple dozen chair around the bank area, and the board walk. Great spot for the boy scout's !, your new spot was perfect in the park. Oh ,and I love Ian Crowley's chowder 2 . No body put's corn in " the org. " GREENPORT " chowder . But I did like some of the up dated recipe's off " The Rock's " .See ya next year all
Localtucker September 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM
amen dorothy, bunch of whiners!
Deidre Bay September 26, 2012 at 05:09 PM
There was an unlawful sale of beer to minors - period!. Stronger restrictions must be enforced next year. The family atmosphere of the festival will be dramatically altered if this problem continues to exist.
barbara radich September 27, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Didn't the brewery do a extra nice job making the spot look amazing !, with the plant's , and many extra touch 's , not just a snow fence . jcvbfakoo0ri?

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