Restaurateur Dan Murray to open at SI Country Club

JOANN KIRKLAND PHOTO | Harry Brigham at the Shelter Island Country Club bar will be taking over the general manager’s spot for the club.

Harry Brigham at the Shelter Island Country Club bar will be taking over the general manager’s spot for the club.

Restaurateur Dan Murray from Poxabogue Golf Center’s Fairway Restaurant in Bridgehampton will be extending his franchise this year, taking the helm of the Shelter Island Country Club restaurant.

No name has been selcted yet for the new eatery, according to SICC Board President Ron Lucas.

Fresh was the last incarnation of a restaurant at the club until just prior to Labor Day when the restaurant operation suddenly closed for what is traditionally one of the season’s busiest weekends. Initial rumors that the restaurant would reopen quickly waned and while the bar remained in operation, the kitchen was closed for the season.

Mr. Lucas and other board members have been in talks with several prospective restaurant managers. But what won the day for Mr. Murray was his extensive experience operating a restaurant at a golf course under a similar arrangement to that of the SICC. Under those agreements, the restaurant leases the space at the club, but the club, itself, profits from bar sales with only a small amount going to the restaurateur.

At Mr. Murray’s Poxabogue restaurant there’s no liquor license, Mr. Lucas said. That  means Mr. Murray is accustomed to running a restaurant that can be sustained on profits from food sales alone, he said.

Beginning Friday, April 4, the new restaurant atop Goat Hill will be open weekends through April 27. On that day, there will be a buffet for club members and students in the “Learn to Play” golf program. Shortly after that, the new restaurant will resume regular summer hours, Mr. Lucas said.

Besides serving lunches and dinners, the new restaurant will be offering breakfast, Mr. Lucas said.

Mr. Murray won’t be the only new face at the Shelter Island Country Club. Following the retirement of Mr. Beckwith as general manager, Harry Brigham is the new general manager.He’s well known to Islanders, having worked as a bartender at the Chequit and SALT, Mr. Lucas said.

“Huck” Bromberg, who has worked part-time for the club as a grounds keeper during the years Gretel French was grounds keeper, will now assume that job since Ms. French left to teach in China. Mr. Bromberg knows golf club operations both from his work here and at the Noyak Country Club, Mr. Lucas said.

Brian Lechmanski will be joining the maintenance department working with Phillip Power, who has been handling maintenance for the club.

Membership levels have picked up, Mr. Lucas said, and those in the “Learn to Play” program will be invited to join the club at a reduced fee.

Work will get under way on replacing irrigation lines on the property and putting down grass seed, he said. What’s more, former Gardiner’s Bay Country Club golf pro Bob DeStefano will be working with Mr. Lechmanski on improvements to the course.

“We’re trying to generate more profit so we can pump it right back into the golf course,” Mr. Lucas said.