Bright Eye Beer Company, Long Beach’s first craft brewery, celebrated its grand opening Friday night with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and hundreds of craft beer lovers packing its taproom on Park Avenue.
Leading the event was Long Beach Chamber of Commerce President Ian Danby of Cybernet, who was joined by local and state officials including City of Long Beach Councilman Mike Delury and New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky. Also on hand were representatives from National Grid and PSEG Long Island, both of which supported the brewery with small business grants.
“Our goal is to create a gathering place for friends to sip and savor locally brewed beers they can call their own,” said Luke Heneghan, who co-owns the brewery with Molly Allare and his sister, Keira Heneghan.
Bright Eye’s brewery and taproom is located on West Park Avenue directly across from City Hall and the Long Beach Long Island Rail Road station. It took over a 5,000 square foot space in 2018 that had been vacant for two years. The historic building was constructed in 1939 for a McLellan’s Five and Dime Store and most recently housed Long Beach Craft and Variety store.
The new owners built a 15-barrel brewhouse and a 40-foot-long bar in the taproom, which is topped by recycled steel beams from the old Point Lookout Pavilion that was taken down in 2018.
On hand for the grand opening were many members of the Heneghan family from Point Lookout, who own the popular J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern and Restaurant. Bright Eye’s name came from a fish packing company that was located in Point Lookkout in the 1930s and 1940, Bright Eye Fish Co.
“A fish with bright eyes meant that it was freshly caught,” said Luke Heneghan, “so we are proud to be carrying on the name with our freshly made local beers.”
Initially the new taproom will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 9 p.m.
Bright Eye Beer Company is located at 50 W. Park Avenue in Long Beach. For more info visit brighteyebeerco.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.