Southpaw Brewing to open in Yaphank with craft beer, brick-oven pizzas


Southpaw Brewing Co. is inching closer to opening in Yaphank’s new development The Boulevard, a mix-use property along William Floyd Parkway.

On April 22, the brewery announced on Instagram that it’s “just weeks away” from opening.

The brewery — the idea of cousins James Economou and Thomas Neidhart, along with Thomas’s sons TJ Neidhart and Michael Neidhart — promises to raise the bar on the local beer scene.

Economou is a longtime college football coach and former professional offensive lineman. Thomas is the owner of Southpaw Construction Company. So why a brewery?

A few years back, Thomas approached his cousin about opening a bagel shop, but he turned it down to take a coaching gig at Campbell University in North Carolina. “I said, as a joke, ‘If you are really interested in opening a business together, let’s do a brewery.'” And then Economou left.

Then the pandemic hit. “It just felt the right time to move back home,” said Economou. “I just wanted to be around family.” That’s when the idea started heating up about going into business together.

Having traveled the country for football, the Coram native noticed something on the island. Outside of Long Island, breweries had excellent food and he wanted to bring that concept home.

“I know places [on Long Island] have food trucks here, but I’m talking about in-house service with multiple options,” he explained to Greater Long Island.

That’s when the team recruited Matt Rappa, the owner of La Bistro Pizzeria in Wading River, and Southpaw Brewing Co. was officially born.

“We wanted him to take us to the next level of service and to putting out great quality food,” said Economou. “He has proven great food.”

So here are the plans.

the food and beer

The menu will feature brick-oven pizza from Marra Forni‘s state-of-the-art rotational oven. “It promises a perfect product every time,” Economou said. “We’re thinking about everything and squaring away, from sit-down servers to a bottom-up tap system.”

The brewery plans to serve a range of appetizers and entrees, with items like birria tacos, short-rib grilled cheese, wings and big soft pretzels.

Southpaw Brewing Co.’s beer will be brewed off-site in Oyster Bay and will be labeled with its own craft beer brand. The brewery will have ten different beers, ranging from pilsners to IPAs to seltzers. Southpaw will have a full liquor license as well and serve up signature cocktails.

“We want to have something for everybody to enjoy,” Economou said. “We’ll have really fancy entree-inspired appetizers, but there will also be salads as well. We’re trying to hit as many people as we can.”

the location

The interior, built out by Southpaw Construction Company, will be approximately 3,000 square feet for sit-down service and an approximate 22-foot U-shaped bar. The owners say the space was designed to be as aesthetic as possible that are sure to make it a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike. There is also about 1,000 square feet of outdoor patio space that will be used for al fresco dining under two pergolas.

For Thomas, this project has been a long time coming. He built barns in the area when it was still a race track called Parr Meadows. “It’s funny — I think we were standing right where the barn used to be,” he said after checking out the space.

Southpaw Brewing Co. will be part of The Boulevard retail section, called The Shoppes, which is anchored by a new Walmart Supercenter. The property is also home to a Hilton Home 2 Suites Hotel and a mix of luxury apartments and townhouses. Other businesses, such as Bagel Boss and Yaphank Spirit and Wines, are also in the works for the area.

The Southpaw ownership group really loved the location, especially its proximity to the East End. “We wanted to stay near Riverhead because it has become a destination for wine and brewery tours,” said Economou.

Follow on Instagram

Make sure to check back with for updates on Southpaw Brewing Co.’s opening. You can follow them on Instagram for more information @southpawbrewingcompany.

Top: The Southpaw Brewing Co. team gave out samples before at The Brio, an apartment complex across the street from where the brewery is opening. (Courtesy photo)