Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, which bills itself as the largest craft brewery in the Hudson Valley, will be opening in Mount Kisco as early as next week.
Owner Scott Vaccaro said last week that the 7,800-square-foot space at 369 Lexington Ave. in the village may be in operation as early as Oct. 21, in the building located behind Ferguson Bath & Kitchen Gallery. It will operate in tandem with the much larger warehouse, brewery and distillery on Route 9A in Elmsford.
The Mount Kisco site will contain a 5,000-square-foot brewery and a 2,500-square-foot distillery and will have storage. Some products will be blended on site, but there will not be a brewhouse, Vaccaro said. Captain Lawrence fans will be able to visit for beer and food, adhering to current COVID-19 restrictions, which prohibits gatherings of more than 50 percent capacity.
“We were thinking about ways to kind of branch out and to expand our presence, and we looked down county as well,” Vaccaro explained. “We had a property in Ardsley that we thought made sense. We continued to look and this kind of came about. It’s just a really cool spot.”
Similar to its 35,000-square-foot Elmsford location, it is a warehouse, the type of facility that Captain Lawrence has used dating back to its original location in Pleasantville in 2006, he said. That captures the rough-hewn industrial beer hall-type atmosphere that the company likes to have for its sites.
Vaccaro said having grown up in South Salem and with some of his first customers in northern Westchester, the area has been key to Captain Lawrence’s success.
“Our core market was kind of the Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Katonah, Purdys, North Salem kind of corridor, and where the first accounts to purchase our stuff,” he said. “We have a long history in the area.”
Also, the distillery in Mount Kisco will be Captain Lawrence’s main stage facility, Vaccaro added. While the distillation is done in Elmsford, there isn’t enough room for barrel storage. The Mount Kisco location won’t boost the company’s operating capacity, but it will give it an area for its sour beers to age and blend, he said.
Vaccaro acknowledged some skittishness about launching a second site in the midst of a pandemic, but said the plans were underway last year and the lease for the Lexington Avenue site was signed by the start of this year.
“Everything was looking shiny and bright and we thought it was going to be great, Vaccaro said. “So, (there are) lots of concerns, obviously. We, like a lot of businesses out there, just push forward and make it work.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Captain Lawrence has launched home delivery, which has helped to offset some of the losses from the months of being closed to the public and now the reduced capacity.
Captain Lawrence’s imminent arrival in Mount Kisco is exciting for the village and a shot in the arm for its commercial area, along with the recent opening of three other businesses, said Mayor Gina Picinich.
Mount Kisco had reduced its vacancy rate to 10 percent by early this year, but Picinich said she believes the downtown is poised for a recovery because the interest in investing in the village remains high.
“We’re continuing to take meetings, and sadly some businesses won’t be reopening, but we’re continuing to take meetings with folks who seek great opportunity and are trying to make plans,” Picinich said. “Our objective right now is to do all we can to be flexible and help business hold on until we can get past this, and then we’ll be right bac to where we were.”
Other businesses that have opened in the village are Your CBD Store on East Main Street and F45 Training and Code Ninjas on South Moger Avenue.
Vaccaro said there is the possibility this won’t be Captain Lawrence’s last expansion. He said the company continues to eye future opportunities.
“We’re going to try to expand our brand and our reach,” he said. “We’ve had a really great experience and response to the hospitality operation here in Elmsford, obviously pre-COVID, with the event that we were doing with the beer hall and the beer garden and we want to try and replicate that when possible.”