In eight days, Niall Crowe will walk his daughter Lauren down the aisle at her wedding in Southold. A few days later, he’ll open a 140-seat bar and restaurant in his hometown of Oakdale.
“We got this. No problem. No problem,” Crowe said, discussing the early June opening of the Oakdale Brew House in the Light House Commons plaza on Montauk Highway. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. Everything is about preparation.”
Indeed. This is hardly his first rodeo.
Crowe, 57, owns three popular taverns in Babylon Village — Lily Flanagan’s Pub, The Local and The Villager. Recalling the emotions he felt at the church during his daughter Emily’s wedding last fall, he acknowledged that “giving away” a daughter can be more challenging than opening a bar.
A year in the making, the Oakdale Brew House replaces what was Molly Maguires, and before that, O’Reilly’s, in a storefront located between the popular CM Performing Arts Center and the busy Oakdale post office. Fresh Food Supermarket is set to open June 6 in the same shopping center.
Niall Crowe’s wife Doreen said she’s been peppered in recent months with questions from passersby about when the restaurant will open.
“I’ve been asked hundreds — no thousands of times — when we’re opening,” Doreen Crowe, 53, said. “The Brew House is filling a void. People are looking for a place to go. They want something new and exciting.”
With two sizable bars, a wide selection of craft beers and local wine, trendy leather bench seating, a late-night kitchen and an open ceiling that lends a hip, industrial look to the space, the Oakdale Brew House has the makings of becoming a South Shore destination this summer. The Brew House will be open for lunch until 3 a.m. on weekend nights, and from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. during the week.
“We really wanted to develop a space that created some atmosphere,” said Niall Crowe, an Irish immigrant whose first job after moving to the United States in 1984 was as a dishwasher in the Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip. “We’ll appeal to everybody. I think we’ll be that spot that you can go to for a drink in a trendy, modern bar after having dinner in a restaurant … And plus, we’ll have a lot of good shareable food on the menu.”
The general manager of the Brew House is Tim Gay, a 2010 graduate of Connetquot High School.
“It’s nice to be working in this area because I grew up here and I know a lot of people here. This is home,” said Gay, 27, who had been the general manager of The Local.
Just as he has done at The Local, Gay will offer beer-canning right inside the Brew House. In slick 16-ounce, Oakdale Brew House-branded cans that feature a map of the Oakdale area, patrons can purchase their favorite draft beer to go.
“If you’re going to a house party, and you want to bring something different, you can stop in and pick up an eight pack, and then be the talk of the party,” Doreen Crowe said.