Monday evening the Astoria City Council approved a liquor licence application for a new brewpub operation that the owners say will be built in the old Bornstein fish processing plant at the foot of 7th street. Port Commissioner Bill Hunsinger told KAST News that, in effect, the proposers of the brewpub skipped a step in not approaching the Port Commission. So what's the Port's involvement? Bornstein says none whatsoever.
River Barrel Brewing partners including Andrew Bornstein and Luke Colvin plan to remodel the old building to make it suitable for an on-site brewing operation, full on premises sales of alcohol and a food service. The facility would include outdoor dining and live music. City Councilor Drew Herzig was the lone dissenting vote saying the music might disturb residents of the Columbia House Condominiums four blocks away.
Tuesday morning during a live interview on KAST, Port Commissioner Bill Hunsinger said the Port has an interest in the old Bornstein plant and that to his knowledge no one had approached the Port about the new business. He told KAST's Tom Freel that the old plant was used as collateral to the Port to back the loan used to build the new Bornstein Plant on Pier Two. Hunsinger said that while it seems the River Barrel Brewing business partners have been going through a process with the city for some time it's not clear to him what the Port's position would be in line for the building and what the Port's standing is in line for the title to the property. Andrew Bornstein contacted KAST News Wednesday morning to say that the agreements between the Port of Astoria and his company say specifically that the old building may be used for any purpose by Bornstein without the permission of the Port.