The North Fork Oyster Company is taking over the Bay and Main restaurant, that building with the big old 1800s barn door for a front door, located in the back of Stirling Square in Greenport.
Owners Sana and Farouk Ahmad are overseeing the transformation of the restaurant formerly known as the Bay and Main, which closed in November of 2009.
"The minute they closed, we began making new plans," Ms. Ahmad said.
The couple plans to open the North Fork Oyster Company the second week of April. The 140-seat restaurant will feature reasonably priced dishes made from fresh local seafood and produce, Mr. Ahmad said. Prices for appetizers will range from $8 to $15 and entrees will range from $17 to $29.
Mr. Ahmad hopes that the fresh seafood approach will add to the appeal for both locals and visitors of this historical building and section of Greenport.
“We want to make this a comfortable, clean and nice place,” he said. “We want people to come for the food — and we want people to come back.”
Though the Ahmads own a corporately run restaurant in Edgewater, N.J. called the Crabhouse, the North Fork Oyster Company will be their first time as restaurateurs themselves. They’ve hired chef Richard Lanza, who worked most recently at the Farmhouse in Greenport, manager Dan Reyburn and assistant manager Bruce Alfero to help.
The Ahmads also own the entirety of Stirling Square — a small section of businesses tucked away off of Main Street that has been used since the horse and buggy days of the 1800s.
And the square still retains its throwback charm. The building that will soon open as the North Fork Oyster Company was originally a horse barn and evolved over the years into a gas station and then as restaurants such as the Cinnamon Tree, Jacob’s and most recently Bay and Main.
The structure's huge 19th Century front door will remain in tact and in use.
“We’re keeping the door as-is,” Ms. Ahmad said. “We're changing a lot but we also want to keep the memories alive for people who have been here before."
The green building just south of the old Bay and Main will reopen as a coffee shop this spring, and gelato and pastries for the shop with be produced in a building across the gravel walkway.
The Ahmads have owned the square since 2006 and have lived in East Marion for seven years.
“We fell in love with this a long time ago,” Ms. Ahmad, an artist, said of Stirling Square. “The spot is so romantic if it’s done right and taken care of. We’re working on beautifying it.”