With the frenetic growth of beer in New York City it is sometimes easy to forget just how tough it is to run a brewery, bar, or restaurant. A recent spate of closings including Chelsea Brewing and the Union Square location of Heartland Brewery served as a reminder of this fact. The latest is the closure of 508 Gastrobrewery. The restaurant had been brewing for almost four years on a system cobbled together in the basement first by Anderson Sant’Anna De Lima.
The brewpub suffered heavy damage during hurricane Sandy. Following the hurricane Chris Cuzme (left) took over the brewing operations, and after cleaning and putting the brewery back together injected his enthusiasm for brewing and music into 508. He collaborated with other breweries, homebrewers, and hosted “Tuesday is Cuzday” events where the he played his saxophone along with other musicians.
Cuzme kept an interesting variety of beers on tap with an eye towards the high quality food coming out of the kitchen. The beers ranged from blonde ale and nut brown ale to a szechuan saison and a coffee & doughnut stout. The food included pastas, flat pizzas, and burgers in addition to items like scallops, bulgogi, and salmon tartare.
With the closing of 508 Gastrobrewery, the remaining professional brewers currently open in Manhattan are Birreria at Eataly and Paulaner Brewery NYC. 508’s website and Facebook page indicated that though now closed, the restaurant would be looking for a new location. There is no indication if there are plans to open the new location as a brewpub.