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November 23, 2022

Owners of Dockside Brewery in Milford get approval to open brewery in Hamden

COSTAR 2323 Whitney Ave., Hamden.

The Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting Tuesday approved plans for a new brewery and tap room in Hamden.

Assistant Town Planner Christopher Soto said the approval for Whitney Brewing at 2323 Whitney Ave. is the first step for the new venture.

Applicants still need to secure building permits for the work that includes an 8,000-square-foot restaurant and a 4,000-square-foot brewery, with outdoor areas and a rooftop terrace in the existing building at Whitney and Dixwell avenues next to Freedom Park.

Michael Schaffer, with New Haven-based C.A. White Associates, said plans put forth by the brewing team of Bob Chicoine and Kevin Fitzsimmons – who run the popular Dockside Brewery on Bridgeport Avenue in Milford – could change the center of Hamden with their plans.

“This is going to make a huge impact,” Schaffer said. “We think this will help define a center of town for Hamden, which has always been made up of lots of smaller villages, but this is an opportunity to establish a core for the city.”
Chicoine and Fitzsimmons could not be reached for comment on their plans, but according to the application, the first floor would seat up to 278 people, including outdoor spaces. The 2,000-square-foot second level would have another 160 seats.

The property would also have outdoor “beer gardens,” movable seating, fire pits and space for outdoor games.

With access to more than 900 parking spaces, “it’s going to be a big complex, and this is going to give the center of town some additional energy,” Schaffer said. 

Architect Sam Gardner, with New Haven-based Gregg Wies & Gardner Architects, told the commission that his clients are aiming for an Oct. 2023 opening.

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