40 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • OCTOBER 22, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Whitestone resident opens new
craft distillery on Long Island
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Whitestone resident Leucio Lacobelli has
fulfi lled his dream of establishing a craft
distillery on Long Island serving local beer,
wine and spirits.
Th is summer, Lacobelli and his business
partner, Th omas Joyce, opened
Montauk Craft Distillery Co. in the former
Riverhead Fire Department station located
at 24 E. 2nd St. Suite B., next to the North
Fork Brewing Company.
According to Lacobelli, opening a distillery
in Long Island wasn’t their fi rst
choice, until a fellow Whitestone resident
informed them about the historic decommissioned
fi rehouse that he had purchased
from the town of Riverhead.
“He asked if we were interested in checking
it out and aft er fi nishing our cocktail,
we drove out to Riverhead and that
spawned the idea of making it our location,”
said Lacobelli, who works in the
fi nancial services industry.
Lacobelli and Joyce renovated the
3,000-square-foot space, which is divided
into two parts: the tasting room and the
distillery. Th e tasting room is located in the
front with a large bar, TVs and tables that
lead to a garage door with outdoor seating.
All the products — gin, bourbon, whiskey
and brandy — are made in-house at the
distillery from local ingredients.
Th e duo came up with the idea in 2013 to
open a distillery given their love for “booze
and entertaining people,” Lacobelli said.
“Building a distillery is no easy task —
not only for the mind but for the wallet,”
Lacobelli said. “Tom and I shared a lot of
meetings together — playing around with
recipes and thoughts and labels to produce.
We saw a growth potential with the wineries
and breweries, and now with distilling.”
Lacobelli and Joyce had signed a lease
agreement a year prior to the grand opening
of the distillery in August.
“We’re now in the forefront and one
of three craft distilleries in Long Island,”
Lacobelli said. “Opening a distillery wasn’t
a matter of creating a quick buck but to create
Th e distillery is the label of Black Sail
Aged Rum, Sunburn Cinnamon Rum,
Bellamy Spiced Rum 71st Regiment Gin,
MODICO Vodka and Tunney Whiskey.
“We went from producing a one-craft ed
beverage and now have a lineup of something
unique,” Lacobelli said. “It’s all craft -
ed in New York — the corn, grapes and
apples are sourced here for our vodka, and
the wheat, corn and rye for our bourbon.”
Th e distillery promotes localism and has
established relationships with wineries and
breweries serving their products, Lacobelli said.
For Joyce, who resides in Connecticut
and visits the site at least two or three times
a month, the success of the distillery is a
remarkable feeling of excitement with a
dose of accomplishment.
“To see it evolve and drive forward it
almost created some momentum on its
own, so to be able to open up a tasting
Photos courtesy of Leucio Lacobelli
room it was wildly exciting to see our
vision come to fruition,” Joyce said.
According to Joyce, the Montauk
Distilling Co. is descriptive of the lifestyle
that they want their product to embody,
which is being outdoors and having fun
with friends and family.
“We want to capture the spirit of Montauk
in everything we do,” Joyce said.
Th e Montauk Distilling Co. is open
Th ursday through Saturday from noon
to 8 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from
noon to 8 p.m. It’s closed Tuesday and
Wednesday. To make a reservation, call