the popular restaurant overlooking the picturesque New Suffolk waterfront, reopened on Wednesday after closing for five months for renovations.
The restaurant is normally open year-round, but the owners were forced to close the business on Jan. 12 when snow from one of this past winter’s blizzards made parts of the roof sag.
“We decided to go through with the renovation because of the roof,” co-owner Diane Harkoff said Wednesday afternoon, when the bar area was open for drinks and a partial menu. The restaurant will open for full service during dinner on Wednesday.
Harkoff said that plans for renovation had been in the works since 2009. The basic layout of the restaurant is essentially the same — an entryway, a quiet dining area to the west and a bar /dining area to the east — but the roof has been raised in the bar, providing a more panoramic view of the waterfront and Robins Island to the south.
“It was only about seven feet at the windows before,” Harkoff said. “It just felt a little claustrophobic in here, and now that they’ve cleaned up the waterfront we want to see it.”
The color scheme is a bit darker than before with maroons and browns, providing a classier pub feel. Padded booths have been added along the eastern walls of the pub area, and the mens and ladies restrooms have switched places in order to come up to code with handicap accessibility — something that is already confusing longtime customers, Harkoff said.
“I’m sure it will provide some interesting stories for years to come,” Harkoff joked.
The menu is still an eclectic mix of classic pub fare, local seafood specials and Legends signatures like the spicy tomato-based New Suffolk clam chowder. The new interior design does not include as many flat screen TVs as before — but the new TVs are larger.
“We have just as much TV per square inch as we did before,” Harkoff said.
And to Danny McGrory of Holbrook, who came to New Suffolk on Wednesday just to have a beer at the new Legends, some things at one of his favorite places on the North Fork haven’t changed at all.
“The beer is still cold and the food is still good,” he said.