Ray Brook Brewhouse set to open soon

Paul Tatro stands in front of the Brewhouse’s in-house brewing tanks at the soon-to-be Ray Brook Brewhouse. (Malone Telegram photo — Frank Difiore)

RAY BROOK — A Constable native and Franklin Academy graduate is looking to open a new brewhouse restaurant along state Route 86 by early next year.

The soon-to-open establishment lies right across the road from the popular seasonal Tail o’ the Pup. While the latter is closed for the winter, the site of the future Ray Brook Brewhouse was busy on Tuesday with construction workers installing new components.

The project did not move ahead as quickly as owner Paul Tatro would have liked.

“We have the APA right here in our backyard,” Tatro told The Telegram, referring to a nearby Adirondack Park Agency office in Ray Brook.

APA regulations on construction inside the Adirondack Park meant that there was some delay in the timeline of construction; Tatro noted that preparing the Brewhouse’s future home has been the work of roughly the past year.

Paul Tatro looks over the newly-installed tap fountains at the soon-to-be Ray Brook Brewhouse. The Constable native hopes his new establishment will be open sometime shortly after the new year begins. (Malone Telegram photo — Frank Difiore)

Tatro remains confident in the location, however. He previously owned the Saranac Lake Owls’ Nest restaurant and Saranac Lake Wine and Liquor, giving him solid knowledge of the local area and restaurant market.

Tatro, who graduated from FA in 1981, noted that state Route 86 is one of most travelled roads in the Adirondack Park, with a lot of through traffic.

Tatro’s brewer, Clinton Green, said that he’s “chomping at the bit” to get started and start building up their inventory.

The storage room for the in-house brewing machines was created out of the former furniture store’s back rooms; the brewing process can be viewed from a large window in the main room.

Green and Tatro estimated that the Ray Brook Brewhouse’s system could produce approximately 2,400 to 2,500 barrels per year at maximum capacity, though actual production will typically be lower.

The Brewhouse will have the benefit of the hamlet of Ray Brook’s water system, which Tatro referred to as “one of the cleanest systems in New York state.”

Green’s brewing expertise will be paired with the business’s chef, John Warchol. The team plans to focus on “funky pub grub,” with regular changes to the menu as they experiment with different combinations.

Warchol recently moved back to the north country after 21 years in south Florida; his experience with different styles, including Southern and Spanish cooking, will help the Brewhouse stretch its customers’ comfort zone on food.

“We definitely have our own ideas, but you have to gauge people,” said Warchol.

Tatro said that the Ray Brook Brewhouse is looking at a “soft opening” around February.