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Lockport’s New York Beer Project to expand parking

LOCKPORT – The New York Beer Project was an instant hit when the brew pub and restaurant opened in November – so much so that parking has been a problem, even though the South Transit Road establishment has 175 parking spaces.

In an effort to solve the issue, owners Kevin and Kelly Krupski have purchased another 4 acres of land – all the vacant property between their building and Tonawanda Creek Road – for $700,000.

“We didn’t want to, but we had to bite the bullet,” Kelly Krupski said this week.

The land purchase included two parcels, one owned by a company controlled by Ulrich Development Co. of Lockport, and the other owned by Robert Lewis of Lockport.

“We had cars circling around and circling around, and they left,” Kelly Krupski said.

“We’ll do as much as we need to right now,” she said, indicating that the site would be only partially paved.

The present parking area includes 135 paved spaces and 30 to 40 on loose gravel.

The Big Apple-themed eatery, which brews its own beer on site, may eventually use some of the newly acquired land to expand the brewery with a fermenter and a “souring facility.”

The Beer Project obtained a property tax break from the Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency last year. Marc R. Smith, coordinator of town economic development, said the abatement won’t extend to the newly acquired property unless a building is erected, and then a new application to the IDA would be required.

The town Planning Board will hear details on the parking plan July 19. Approval from the Niagara County Planning Board on the preceding day also is required.

The Beer Project is holding a beer release party at 6 p.m. Thursday for its newest variety, a summer Koelsch-style beer, named after Walter Kohl, a local motorcycle mechanic .