Business Roundup: New dining options among changes this season

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Porch dining at Goat Hill’s new reastaurant Fresh.

Headlining the Island’s new business line-up this summer are major changes in Shelter Island’s dining options. Ownership of three popular restaurants, Pat & Steve’s, the former Olde Country Inn and Planet Bliss has changed and there is “Fresh” management in the restaurant space at Goat Hill.

Adding to what’s new among Island businesses this season are two Heights-based home decor stores, the debut of an independent real estate office and many enhancements and additions to existing Island businesses.

Local food sourcing is a hot trend in restaurant menus; new farm stands and markets will be on the scene; and the Boltax Building is home to three new business tenants.


Effective June 1, Chris Chobar and Ashley Knight have taken a four-year lease with an option to buy Pat & Steve’s (749-5028), the Center’s popular family restaurant. For the time being, everything — including the name — will remain the same. The only immediate change the new proprietors are making is to expand the hours to seven days and evenings. The couple hopes to obtain a beer and wine permit and eventually a liquor license but Mr. Chobar is quick to point out that “we are not turning Pat & Steve’s into a bar!”

Mr. Chobar is known to many Islanders as a contractor and handyman. He won’t be giving up his day job but will handle the business’s management and bookkeeping. Ms. Knight, who recently left her position selling business management software, will be the hands-on partner. They each have had extensive restaurant experience in their backgrounds, both in the kitchen and the front of the house.

According to Ms. Knight, the couple has been “talking about this for awhile, some three plus years, and this year we decided to make it happen. It’s the perfect location, the perfect business for us,” she said.

“We didn’t want someone to take it over and turn it into yet another fine dining restaurant,” Mr. Chobar added. “As working class people, we want someplace we can go that’s still affordable. We want a place where people can come in after the beach or a ball game and have a non-stuffy place in which to kick back.”

Originally planning a 10-year run in the restaurant business, Pat and Steve Lenox put the business up for sale several years ago. This season would have marked their 12th summer.

Opening up in the space long occupied by Planet Bliss, Elizabeth Ronzetti and Adam Kopdls are the chef-owners who will be bringing their seasonally-based cuisine to Shelter Island to a fine dining restaurant called 18 Bay. Concentrating on dinner, the duo will serve up homemade pasta, local fish and produce with their “chef’s menu” concept, an ever-changing line-up of what the markets have to offer that day.

“We are trying to represent the terroir of the area.” Ms. Ronzetti said. “Long Island is its own culinary region with its abundance of fresh produce, beautiful fish, to say nothing of the wine, and we are looking to showcase that with our cooking. And it will be nice to be a little closer to the source of the great food of Long Island here on Shelter Island.”

The couple, who live in Southold, previously ran a restaurant at 18 Bayville Avenue in Bayville, which is how they arrived at the name for their new venture. “The number 18 has always been lucky for us,” Ms. Ronzetti declared. In a lightened and brightened interior, 18 Bay will be offering a $50 prix fixe menu with four courses: a choice of four different antipasti, a fresh pasta, entree and dessert. Target opening date is Memorial Day weekend. “We took over on May 1 so set ourselves a very ambitious target date,” the new owner said. For reservations and information call 749-0053.

Alastair MacLean and John Sieni have purchased the premises of the former Olde Country Inn at 11 Stearns Point Road to open La Maison Blanche ( Mr. Sieni also owns and operates the JBS Salon and the Candlelight Inn on South Ferry Road, while Mr. MacLean, who was the longtime manager of Sunset Beach, now manages a hotel in Tribeca during the week. The pair have upgraded the eight guest rooms and added numerous services from ferry pick-up to around-Island transportation, as well as complimentary bicycles and Wi-Fi throughout the premises. There are petanque courts and a swimming pool, and the owners maintain that the establishment is both family and pet-friendly. Guest rooms range in price from $295 to $595, depending upon size and date.

The restaurant, with its sophisticated brasserie-style menu, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, both indoors and on the deck. A cozy private dining room seats 12. Restaurant prices, according to Mr. MacLean, “won’t be at the higher end. We want to be a place known for value for the money; for offering good food for a decent price.” A compact bakery to the left of the front entrance is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and serves a wide variety of sweet and savory baked goods, coffee and tea and croque monsieur sandwiches, making it the perfect stop before a trip to the beach or an early round of golf.

Over at Goat Hill, Gary Viglioeni and Tammy Moore have pooled their 65 years of restaurant experience to open Fresh. Both worked at the location with the crew from Bella Vita last year and “when they decided not to return, we said it was time that we worked for ourselves,” Ms. Moore said. “It’s the perfect opportunity. It’s not a lot of money to start up as everything is there.”

Fresh offers casual, family-friendly dining in what is inarguably one of the most spectacular settings on Shelter Island. Commenting on the name and menu, Ms. Moore said, “Everything is so abundant out here so we wanted to feature the produce, the fish and help the East End economy by buying local, wherever possible.” Vegetables will be coming from a friend in Manorville who’s been farming the same land for three generations. Fish is being supplied by the Southold Fish Market, Braun’s and Chip Edwards, when the fluke and strip bass are running.

In addition to the emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, there is a Monday Pasta Night Special for $9.95 that includes a house salad and a choice of one of six pasta dishes. The menu is posted online at Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m., dinner from 4 p.m. Sunday brunch will be added as of May 29. For more information, call Tammy at 749-5651.

Evelyn Comer and Bob Brady have joined forces to put their real estate and insurance offerings under one roof.


Evelyn Comer has joined forces with Bob Brady to bring real estate and insurance together in one location with the opening of Shelter Island Real Estate and Insurance on Route 114 in the Center (749-1014). Ms. Comer segued from her position as a real estate agent with Sotheby’s to this venture. “Mr. Brady offered me this wonderful opportunity and I just had to take it. We’re the only business on Shelter Island to offer these two services under one roof.” The new office will be looking to fill a number of positions so watch the Reporter for the ads.

Two home furnishings shops are opening in the Heights, offering residents and visitors alike new merchandise to spruce up a seasonal rental, add a fresh new look to summer décor or delight any hostess.

Shirley Ferrar and her daughters are opening The Ivy Ladder at 2 Grand Avenue in the Heights next to Cicero’s Barber Shop. “It’s a small space filled to the brim with cottage appeal, including gardening items, painted furniture, shabby chic and much more,” she said. “It’s all about being a summer adventure. We’ll open Memorial Day weekend and close in the winter to re-open in the spring and hopefully have a lot of fun in between.”

Shelter Ego has opened for business on Bridge Street, next to Dinkel Real Estate. According to the owners, “The store offers a mix of modern, vintage and unique hand-made decorative objects and furniture, as well as original artwork and prints and a selection of furniture that combines vintage, industrial and country styles.”

The three proprietors are Gosia Rojek, Magda Gubala-Ryzak and Bozena Kudelska, who have brought their passion for art and sustainable design to the shop. They’re stocking such unique items as artisanal glass and ceramics, European linens, botanical soaps, beach linen shirts, casual summer jewelry as well as recipe and home decor books. The products are displayed against a back drop of an authentic spinnaker from the Greenport Ocean Race 2010 in which Gosia competed. For information and hours, call 749-5700 or contact them at [email protected]


Venture Out Shelter Island, the brainchild of Liz Lechmanski, will be opening at the Boltax Building at 21 North Ferry Road. It will fill a void on Shelter Island by offering a wide range of sporting goods, including sleds, gear for ice skating, fishing, hunting, biking, water sports and tennis, as well as moped rentals. Each moped will come equipped with a GPS and Ms. Lechmanski, who grew up here, said she will also be happy to provide renters with scenic routes. In time, rentals will be able to be reserved online at Contact Ms. Lechmanski at 770-870-9751.

She will be joined by a new massage studio owned by Cassandra Bliss. Ms. Bliss, a licensed massage therapist for 13 years, is opening her studio in order to bring more creativity to her work and be more readily available for clients and drop-ins than she could be with her home-based business. The new premises will allow her to offer treatments that she has learned and developed “that cannot be done in homes.” As an example, she cites the use of “hot herbal compresses that can be used to treat certain conditions, as well as a lymphatic herbal compress technique for a detox treatment.”

Ms. Bliss has experience with craniosacral therapy, lymph drainage, polarity therapy and Thai massage, as well as the conventional types of massage. “Because of my extensive experience, I can meet the needs of a wide range of clients (including children and adolescents) and various issues.” She is available for studio and home/hotel sessions most days and early evenings, preferably by appointment, but last minute requests (and soon drop-ins) are always welcome. Anyone who would like to get on a regular schedule for the summer should contact her as soon as possible at 646-315-0170.

Fallen Angel Antiques, long a fixture in the Heights, has relocated to Boltax, as well. And at the southern end of the complex, the Molly Brown Boutique has expanded into luxury resale and vintage clothing (call 749-5538 for hours).


After 15 years on her own, nail specialist Casey Hannabury has moved to Anna’s Salon at 69 North Midway Road (749-4293) and has added new services such as a long-lasting gel polish and permanent make-up application. In addition to the full complement of hair services, Anna’s is also offering waxing. Massages are available on Sundays and Mondays by appointment only.

Two real estate firms have relocated their operations into new quarters. Melina Wein has moved one store south on Route 114 into airy and light-filled premises formerly occupied by the Osprey Café. Daniel Gale/Sotheby’s made the move from the south end of the Island into the Heights, and is now tucked between the Shelter Island Pharmacy and Stars Café.

Assistant pro Chance Sheffling, left, and incoming pro Leigh Notley now run the Pro Shop at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.


The Pro Shop at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club (, 749-1033) is now being operated by Leigh Notley, PGA and British PGA member who will assume the position of head pro in July, upon the retirement of Bob DeStefano. Although primarily serving the members and guests of the country club with merchandise, instruction, club fitting, club repair and tournament services, the pro shop is open to the public.

“We are very excited to be providing our members and their guests with some new, exciting, innovative products and services,” said Mr. Notley. “As well as golf, Shelter Island is a wonderful place for sailing, tennis, biking and yoga. Of course, we also have a strong beach community! Keeping that in mind, we hope to provide apparel and gift ideas that transcend the traditional golf shop barriers.”


At Stars Café in the Heights, Pepe and Lydia Martinez are serving “authentic and affordable Mexican food” for dinner Thursday through Saturday nights from 5 to 10 p.m., beginning this week. The menu will feature a stable of popular items such as tacos, burritos, empanadas and enchiladas, supplemented by nightly Mexican-style specials. “There is really no place like this here and we think the locals will really appreciate it,” said Ms. Martinez. There is no plan to get a liquor license so it will be BYOB in the evenings. “We want to make it affordable to eat out more often,” she continued. If the reception is good, dinners will continue year round. Dinners will be available to eat in or take out.

Some cozy seating has been tucked into Greeny’s Natural Food Market at 55A North Ferry Road, where they continue to offer freshly made soups and sandwiches daily. Plans are afoot to possibly serve dinner this summer.

Burt Waife’s Last Boat T-Shirts, Shelter Island’s original “pop up shop,” is adding original and archival photographs of Shelter Island to its witty T-shirt collection. It will also have a new home in the “container” next to the Two Ed’s at 9 North Ferry Rd. Hours are weekends 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment (949-5459.)

In her sixth year framing fine art from her Cartwright Road studio, Jackie Black (646-621-5083) will now be offering a locally grown and produced black walnut hardwood frame to her current line of sustainably harvested and certified hardwoods from Vermont and Appalachia. The wood has been milled from a large tree that had to be felled from her backyard. You can check out samples of her work at under the subheading Framing Services.

If this is your summer to make a change in your life, a call to life coach Sarah Sherwood (749-2627) may be just the ticket. Ms. Sherwood’s business, Not a Dress Rehearsal, specializes in helping individuals take their lives to the next level. (Or, as her website Nota states, “I help people get unstuck.”) Ms. Sherwood works primarily with individuals both here and in New York City on a one-on-one basis but is considering offering group coaching workshops on Shelter Island this summer. If interested, please email her at [email protected] for more information.


If you’re not part of the Sylvester Manor CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, you can still avail yourself of the organic produce being grown there by stopping at the new farm stand on Manwaring Road. According to the manor’s executive director, Cara Loriz, the farm is already selling some seedlings and fresh spinach “at the roadside” but hopes to have the new stand in place by June 18. Flowers and breads may also be offered.

A weekly farmer’s market will take place at the Shelter Island Historical Society beginning June 25 through Columbus Day weekend from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The organizers, Dan and Bri Fokine, envision a wide variety of vendor-grown or produced food stuffs, including fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, eggs, herbs and spices, honey and preserves, to be available throughout the season. For more information, contact Dan Fokine at [email protected] or at 455-0334.

And last but not least, grocery shopping can finally take a back seat to any and all of Shelter Island’s summer diversions, with the new on-line ordering and home delivery services being offered by the Shelter Island IGA. Log onto to place your order and it will be ready for in-store pick-up or home delivery within a few hours. Delivery, which is offered seven days a week, is free with a minimum order of $50.