Mineola board holds off on potential beer garden decision

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Mineola board holds off on potential beer garden decision
Vincent Minutella, the owner of the Black Sheep Ale House, presented revised plans for opening a beer garden to the Mineola village board at Wednesday's meeting. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The owner of a Mineola bar presented a revised plan for a beer garden that he said addressed issues residents and the village board had raised over potential noise levels during Wednesday’s meeting.

The board closed the meeting and reserved their decision.

Vincent Minutella, the owner of the Black Sheep Ale House located at 78 Second St., said the revised plans are actually an improvement to the existing layout and would be less of a disturbance to neighbors.

Minutella first presented in December, when a few residents said the beer garden would be a disturbance.

The bar is located in the manufacturing district, and surrounded by commercial lots, Minutella said.

But the bar is also adjacent to the residential Roslyn Road.

On Wednesday, Village Hall was more packed than usual, with more than half the seats filled. A couple of residents returned to voice concerns, but more than a handful came out to show support – a few even sporting Black Sheep Ale House t-shirts.

Since Minutella’s first hearing, he’s hired Tom Cahill, a landscape designer from Hicks Nursery.

With Cahill’s help, Minutella said he has completely redesigned the garden.

“[There are] literally five levels of sound abatement from the beer garden to our closest neighbor,” Minutella said.

Minutella showed the board and public the revised plan for the beer garden as well as a 3D rendered walk through.
(Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The area is enclosed with multiple polyvinyl chloride, PVC, fencing, Minutella said.

The sound will also be contained by the main pergola where the seating will be, as well as trees that will be planted along with the fencing, Minutella said.

The rest of the sound will be directed out towards the commercial streets.

Another issue raised at Minutella’s first hearing back in December by a couple of residents and Trustee Paul Cusato, was concern over the volume of compressor units Minutella had planned to have outside.

Minutella said he reached out to the manufacturers to get a noise level, but said the manufacturers couldn’t give an exact decibel level.

“That wasn’t good enough, so they’re dead,” Minutella said.

He swapped the plan to put the compressor units in the basement, he said.

The new plan will also curb concern over noise from smokers, Minutella said.

The new design has an allotted smoking area spot, within the contained garden with noise abatement measures in place, he said.

Which, Minutella added, is an improvement from the current design of the bar where smokers gather outside.

Terence Hale, who lives on Roslyn Road, again said that he likes the idea but not in his neighborhood.

He said it is too close to residents and would hurt the quality of life.

Others, like Matthew Luce, said the bar would help with nightlife for people in their late 30s and early 40s who are coming into the village.

“All these new apartments going up what did you expect the people would want,” Luce said. “Do you want younger people … who have money, you want that coming here. Do you think they’re going to be satisfied when they come here and there’s nothing to do?”

Luce pointed out villages like Rockville Centre that have restaurants and bars, which he said draws in money to the village.

Minutella said he was “heartened” to hear Mayor Scott Strauss’s comments regarding downtown revitalization, and supporting small businesses.

“I think this is something that Mineola, as it’s been communicated to me, overwhelmingly supports,” Minutella said. 

The board also will take into consideration the recommendation of the Nassau County Planning committee, which recommended disapproval for the project.

In a resolution read by Village Attorney John Gibbons Jr., the committee said the impacts of the use on the residents are unavoidable.

Impacts the committee listed include the spillover of noise, loud music, fumes, traffic and loitering onto nearby homes.

Minutella said he thinks the committee misunderstood the live music portion of the proposal he submitted.

Live music would only occur on rare occasions for private special events or ones hosted by the bar, he said.

On those occasions, it would be cut off by 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on Friday.

Minutella also said if approved, he does not consider that the end of the conversation.

He said he is open to ongoing discussions with the board and resident to address issues as they arise.

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