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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY

Beer Garden to Open in Port Chester Train Station

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has announced that Heartland Brewery, the Manhattan brewpub, will open a food hall and beer garden inside Port Chester's historic train station building. Currently the 5,600-square-foot building is used solely as a ticket office, which is closed for the majority of the day.

The 85-seat restaurant will be dubbed "Port Chester Hall," and will sell coffee concessions from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. in addition to lunch and dinner to accommodate Metro-North commuters, the MTA said.

"It is exciting that Heartland Brewery has selected Port Chester for their first expansion location outside of New York City,” said Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla in a press release. "Their brand has strong positive recognition and is on target with the young professionals we seek to attract to Port Chester."

Heartland Brewery plans to make $1.2 million worth of improvements to the infrastructure of the historic building that are consistent with its 19th century design, the MTA said. Among the improvements will be the restoration of the porte-cochere above the main door using old photographs and counsel from the State Historical Preservation Office.

The MTA said that it will pay for Heartland Brewery to replace the roof, rehab the chimney and repaint the exterior walls.

"This restaurant will be a positive addition to the village's downtown business district and will provide economic vitality to the area around the train station seven days a week from morning to night," said Metro-North President Howard Permut in the press release.

Jon Bloonstein, founder and CEO of Heartland Brewery, said he was excited at the opportunity to open a restaurant at such a unique location.

"Designing a restaurant in this historic building and working with a designer and a landscape architect together on the food hall and beer garden is something I have always wanted," Bloonstein said in the press release.

Rent will be $80,000 for the first year and will increase 3 percent each over the 20-year net lease life, the MTA said. Under the terms of the agreement, Heartland will be responsible for paying all the utilities and the maintenance for the building, which is currently picked up by MTA.

MTA representative Margie Anders said that Heartland presented the best offer of the three proposals considered and that the project is a home run.

"Every time we increase revenue outside of the fare box, we decrease stress on ticket prices," Anders said.

Heartland hopes to begin construction in January and open in June 2013.

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