PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Jon Bloostein likes drinking in old places, which is why he chose the Port Chester Train Station for his brewing company’s first location outside of Manhattan, and the first to include a beer garden.
Bloostein owns Heartland Brewing Company, which has five locations. The newest, Port Chester Hall on 3 Broad St., is a combination food fall, beer pavilion and garden that incorporates many features of the station’s original 1890s architecture from floor to ceiling and two new steel canopies above the entrance created from historical photos of the station.
Bloostein will tell you that the main attraction is the pair of custom stone fireplaces in the Beer Garden, both surrounded by seating.
Many of the chairs date back as far as the 1850s and the beer garden benches are made from the wood floorboards from the North West Pacific Railroad train cars, which dates back to the 1800s. There are 19th century beer steins and wooden tap handles and barrels, some of which sit in a hay wagon Bloonstein happened to have laying around.
Add to that a working cider mill, a 6-foot-tall Lowenbrau Bock Beer mural from 1885 and Bloostein’s own stein collection totaling more than 100 and the food and beer hall infuses brewing history into Port Chester.
“I prefer drinking in old places and there’s a certain comfort level with places that seem like they’ve been around a long time,” Bloostein said.
The Queens native said he chose Port Chester because it’s up-and-coming, citing the additions of Bar Taco and Whole Foods in recent years.
“It’s becoming a bit of a hub,” he said of the village.
Opening a beer garden has been Bloostein’s “fantasy gig” for 15 years.
“In Manhattan they’re very difficult because the outdoor space is very valuable for parking lots and things like that,” he said.
Parking for their Port Chester location is located in the train station parking lot directly in front of the building.
Port Chester Hall has 12 taps with 10 of their original craft beers, which Bloostein said they don’t sell commercially, but are also sold at sister restaurants Flatiron Hall and Houston Hall. They serve dinner every day and lunch on weekends, and also operates a coffee stand from 6 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday for morning commuters.
Residents can sample their pastrami spring rolls and a small glass of beer during a Taste of Port Chester Sunday, June 8 from noon to 3 p.m.