Payloaders smashed into walls of the Bavarian Inn on Monday morning beginning its long-awaited demolition.
Suffolk County and local elected officials including Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone, Legis. John Kennedy, R-Nesconset, Legis. Lynne Nowick, R-St. James, Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine gathered to celebrate the occasion with a small gathering of local residents.
"This is truly a momentous occasion. We're going ahead and tearing down of the Bavarian Inn, a destination known locally in Suffolk County and throughout Long Island," said Legis. John Kennedy, R-Long Island.
Watch: Bulldozers Tear Down Bavarian Inn... Sort Of
The Bavarian Inn was once a popular restaurant and catering hall serving up German and Continental cuisine to Long Islanders. Repeated basement and property flooding caused the eatery to close down.
Demolition of the local landmark was first discussed in mid-2011, when county officials
foreclosed on the property due to substantial sum of unpaid property taxes on the facility.
In the few years since it was shut down, in addition to flooding, the Bavarian Inn has been entrenched in tribulations that include a fire, break-ins and heroin addicts using it as a place to get high.
"People love to gather for a demolition," said Suffolk executive Steve Bellone. "It represents rebirth for a place that has enjoyed a rich history, but we're celebrating a rebirth into something else."
Suffolk County Department of Public Works began demolition on Monday with a symbolic smash of payloader. Crews will move in Monday afternoon to begin asbestos removal before work progresses any further. Safety fencing has been erected around the site's perimeter.
Elected officials, after several meetings
with local civic organizations and residents, reassured Monday that once the Bavarian Inn is demolished, the site will be made into parkland to be used for recreational activities.