LONG BEACH, NY — After months of work, the Bright Eye Beer Co. finally opened its doors in Long Beach in February. Then, a month later, it shut them because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was a blow to the fledgling brewery, which was still trying to get its footing in Long Island’s craft beer space.
“We took a huge hit,” said owner Luke Heneghan. “We built this whole business on a taproom model where we could have a lot of people in here drinking pints by the glass. And that was all shut down.”
But while the quarantine shut down the brewery’s taproom, it was allowed to continue making beer and selling it to-go. So Bright Eye pivoted and changed its strategy. The brewery started canning beers, which was never one of its plans, and making beers ready to-go.
Now, almost four months since its grand opening, Bright Eye is still serving beers to thirsty Long Beach residents. The brewery was getting ready to open its taproom to customers during phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, when it was suddenly announced that outdoor dinning would be allowed during phase 2, which Long Island should start next week.
“So now we’re all scrambling to figure out some outdoor furniture,” Heneghan said.
While the taproom won’t be able to open for at least another three weeks, Heneghan said the brewery is getting it ready for customers. They’ve removed some tables from the taproom and spaced others out. Although they’re still waiting to see the details on what exactly their occupancy limits will be.
Bright Eye Beer Co. is located at 50 West Park Ave. in the heart of Long Beach. You can order beer from them by visiting the brewery’s website.
This article originally appeared on the Long Beach Patch