BATAVIA — The owners of Windy Brew microbrewery in Strykersville have withdrawn their application for a permit for a brew pub in the Harvester Center, choosing to pursue a restaurant.
Harvester Center Property Manager Jarrod Clark spoke to the city Planning and Development Committee Tuesday night and said he was there to represent Bill and Michelle Snyder, owners of Windy Brew in Strykersville, who were out of town.
“The idea, the intention is for them to expand their horizons. They want to get more people interested in their brew. What they want to do is open … basically what it is is a tasting room,” he said. “With speaking with them numerous times, it sounds like it’s not a brewery. They will not be making anything at 56 Harvester. Their primary brewery is always going to be in Strykersville.”
Clark said Windy Brew is not approved to make any products, except for pretzels and pizza, anywhere else.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re really not a microbrewery in the sense of where they’re going to be in Batavia,” he said. “It’s really just a tasting room, whether you’re tasting their pizza, their pretzels or their beer.”
The Snyders were pre-approved for three more tasting rooms and they had picked the Harvester building as one of them, Clark said.
“As a property manager, I always tell the prospective tenants, ‘Don’t sign the lease until you’re pre-approved through the city for what you want to do.’ We are an industrial facility. We’ve operated many different things there, but there’s certain things that they have to get pre-approved.”
Clark said the Snyders thought it was necessary to get a special use permit through the city to have a facility in the Harvester Center.
“They didn’t completely understand that they had to make stuff on-site for this special use,” Clark said. He said in speaking with the Snyders, they decided it wouldn’t really be a brewery in Batavia, it would be a restaurant featuring what they serve in Strykersville.
“They’re going to have to build a bar. They’re going to have to build an entrance for egress. They’re going to have to build an entrance in the back as well, depending on how many people they want to see,” he said. “That’s all kind of on the table right now.
“Basically, at this point, talking with you and seeing what the code says, I would say we should retract the special use application … and then just go forward with operating as a kitchen and getting approval through the code department,” Clark said. “I’m looking for guidance from you as well.”
The space is about 3,000 square feet. He estimated a maximum of 35-40 people would be able to be in the restaurant at the same time.
“They currently only operate until about 9 o’clock (in Strykersville). That’s probably what they’re going to do here. It’s more geared toward, ‘You get out of work, you go taste some beers, you go home and you go to your family,” Clark said. “They don’t have somebody that’s going to be sitting there until 2 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “That’s the way they’re going to start and they’re going to operate initially.”
Committee member Edward Flynn asked where in the Harvester Center the business would be. He said it would be located toward the south end of the building.
“It’s probably about 100 feet away from the tracks. We are going to open up our maintenance courtyard’s parking for handicapped and there should be about 25 spots back there. There’s currently about 25 spots on the street,” Clark said. “The nice thing is they operate at a time when there’s low traffic at the Harvester Center.”
Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall told the committee that if the proposed restaurant comes back to the town, it would go to the codes department.