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Patchogue ZBA approves permit for Birdies, a golfing, drinking experience

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Those looking for more recreation options in Patchogue Village will likely soon enough be able take a swing at a bucket of balls in Birdie’s.

Tuesday evening, members of the Patchogue Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a multi-use permit for the two-story golf simulator and bar coming to 17 North Ocean Avenue, steps north from the Four Corners intersection with Main Street.

Site plans call for six simulators in total, five upstairs and one on the ground floor (for ADA compliance).

Communal seating for drinking and mingling is also planned for the ground floor.

There, patrons will be able to order specialty cocktails, wine and beer from local breweries, as well as meats and cheeses, according to the proposal.

Upstairs, each simulator will be located in a private seating area with a 60-inch screen TV.

Patrons will hit real golf balls with real golf clubs, aimed at 4K projection screens. The screens use data to compute the direction and distance of every shot blasted into them.

Golfers can play virtual projections of over 150 real-world courses, try their long game on the driving range or practice their putting.

The venue will offer a family-friendly golfing environment for people of all skill-levels, according to a representative for the company who spoke during a May ZBA meeting.

Birdie’s will also offer league opportunities, lessons and club fittings for people of all ages.

While the business model is subject to change, the representative explained the owners are planning various experiences on different days and time slots.

They are proposing “early Birdies,” or driving range sessions at 6 a.m. some weekdays for those looking to hit a few balls before the workday begins, with some mid-day hours reserved for seniors, and ladies’ nights.

Birdies will not have a full kitchen, but the representative told the ZBA last month the entertainment destination is planning to host food trucks on site. These food trucks will be parked in Birdies back lot, which will also feature a 1,500-square-foot beer garden.

The representative also noted the owners will transform some of the grounds into an outdoor waiting area with yard games such as cornhole to keep people occupied while they wait for their turn on one of simulators.

Members of the ZBA raised concerns during the May meeting that golf clubs and cocktails are not a safe pairing for a family establishment.

The representative assured the ZBA the clubs would never leave each party’s simulator area. While guests are permitted to bring their own clubs, they will be seized at the door and brought to the guests’ assigned simulator, sequestered when the guest is done driving, and returned as they exit the building.

While Tuesday’s developments are a step forward, the upcoming attraction still awaits site plan approvals from the village Planning Board. Birdies submitted updated plans to the Planning Board last week and will be seeking the board’s approval during next Tuesday’s meeting.

Check back at greaterpatchogue.com for ongoing Birdies coverage.