Port Chester’s historic 1890 train station building will be transformed into a food hall and beer garden by the end of the year, according to a Metro-North spokesperson. The space, owned by Metro-North, is now leased to New York City’s Heartland Brewery, which will make $1.2 million worth of long-term infrastructure improvements to the 5,360-square-foot building and name it Port Chester Hall.
The beer hall will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and will also operate a coffee concession from 6 to 11 a.m. on weekdays to accommodate commuters. The ticket office will remain open due to high usage.
While construction is performed, a trailer now parked in front of the station will be used for ticket sales and as a waiting area and restroom.
Heartland had originally hoped to begin construction in January of this year and be open by June, but now they do not expect to finish the construction until this November, according to MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.
Under the lease, ten parking spaces for restaurant employees will provided in the nearby garage. Restaurant customers can park in the garage as well and in the empty commuter spaces after typical commuter hours.
The brewer anticipates building seating for 116 inside and 112 outside, which will be a 3,600-square-foot landscaped beer garden.
"This project is very exciting for me as I'm both a restaurateur and avid gardener. 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," said Jon Bloostein, founder and CEO of Heartland Brewery.
The restaurant will offer a diverse menu and full bar featuring a selection of locally brewed New York beers. They will preserve the existing mosaic and stone floor and include the oak benches in their furniture plan, according to Bloostein.
The infrastructure improvements include new natural gas service, commercial-grade air conditioning, upgraded plumbing, electric, and mechanical systems and new lighting consistent with the design of the station.
Heartland signed a lease with the MTA to pay $80,000 for the first year of a 20-year net lease with annual increase of three percent a year.
Heartland owns and operates seven restaurant/brewpubs in New York City, including one at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and is planning two others in addition to the one in Port Chester.