While the North Fork said ‘hello’ to a number of brand new businesses this year, it also said ‘goodbye’ to some popular old favorites.
Here are ten North Fork businesses that closed in 2016:
Blue Canoe Oyster Bar & Grill
104 3rd Street, Greenport
Instead of re-opening for the season, the popular Third Street seafood restaurant quietly announced they were closed for good via their Facebook page on April 18.
“Dear valued guests, Blue Canoe will not be re-opening. Thank you for all your love and support over the last three years. Come visit us at Vine Street Cafe or our food truck on Shelter Island,” the post stated.
Blue Canoe owner Terry Harwood, who is also the chef and owner of Shelter Island’s Vine Street Café, remained mum on the reason, despite questions from fans and customers on social media.
The Coronet Luncheonette
2 Front Street, Greenport
For nearly seven decades it served fishermen, contractors, shopkeepers and tourists alike. But this year the Coronet Luncheonette closed its doors.
Declining to comment, owner Perry Angelson sold the business to Callie and Tim Martino, owners of Crazy Beans, a breakfast and lunch café with locations in Stony Brook and Miller Place. The Greenport locale is their third restaurant.
Gary Ostroski, who owned the Coronet from 1981 to 2004 and still owns the building, thinks the new business will thrive. His generation has moved on, he said.
Davis Peach Farm
561 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River
After farming over 100 years, Davis Peach Farm called it quits in September. The final death knell the result of a devastating thunderstorm 14 months ago that decimated the farm.
“We had a terrible season,” operator Christine Davis said. “We lost about 2,000 trees and then we had a late frost, so there were days and days on end that we didn’t really have anything.”
Listed for $1.2 million, the 62-acre property quickly sold. But because the farm’s development rights were sold years ago, it will be preserved for agricultural use in perpetuity.
Greek Bites Grill
10095 Main Road, Mattituck
Open barely a year and a half, Greek Bites Grill, which specialized in take-out Greek food, closed its doors in Mattituck Plaza this August, citing problems finding staffers.
“It’s emotional,” owner Dimitra Laopodus said. “Sometimes you just have to count your blessings and move on.”
Greek Bites’ flagship Moriches store will remain open and there are plans to expand that operation within the next two years.
5000 Main Road, Southold
In business nearly 50 years, Hart’s Hardware went through several owners, before current owner Lisa Jerome listed it for sale in early March.
“It’s sad to see it go, but you can’t stop change,” she said. “I’m always going to have the memories. It’s going to be a part of my life no matter what.”
Then in early December a message on the Hart’s Hardware Facebook page announced they had closed, while also mentioning a possible successor.
“Sorry to say we are officially done! Store is empty! Store is closed! Thank you to all the customers that supported us all these years! Congratulations to Long Island Pools that will be opening in the future. ”
53345 Main Road, Southold
A Southold institution for the last 31 years, Robert Scott, the owner of Robert’s Jewelers, decided it was time to retire this year. But instead of just selling the business, he chose to retain its memory by closing the store in mid January 2017 and selling the remaining inventory at discounted prices.
“I’ve got a little bit of pride in this and nobody is going to destroy it,” he said. “I’d rather close it and say it was done well.”
While Mr. Scott’s shop will close, his work as a jeweler is far from over. Scott, a certified gemologist, plans to offer his skills as a consultant for small jewelry stores across the country.
Sonoma Grill East
300 East Main Street, Riverhead
Just over a year after Sonoma Grill opened in the former home of The Riverhead Project on East Main Street, the restaurant closed for “cosmetic renovations,” according to signage on its doors and a post on social media.
“To all of our valued customers … Sonoma Grill will be closed for cosmetic renovations,” the restaurant’s official Facebook page posted Sunday. “We look forward to serving you in the near future.”
The closing came about a week after a Riverhead Town fire inspector and the state liquor authority conducted a surprise inspection of the restaurant. Fire inspector Andrew Smith declined to say if any issues were ever found, but the restaurant never reopened.
Neither owner John Cestare or a representative from Sonoma Grill East could be reached for comment. A manager at Sonoma Grill in Holtsville said the two restaurants were no longer affiliated.
Southold Farm and Cellar
860 Old North Road, Southold
They opened their tasting room in 2014 with a lot of promise, but by 2016 Southold Farm and Cellar’s dreams were dashed when the Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals rejected a request for variances.
Owners Regan and Carey Meador had requested to convert an accessory structure into a wine-tasting area and build a winery building on their property, but were denied.
Months later, the couple announced plans to move their wine operation to Texas.
“Without being able to offset the costs of land and living through the ability to grow, make and sell our small batch wine from our farm, our ability to sustainably run our small business here has been diminished,” the Meadors said.
While the move to Texas won’t happen until after the sale of the family farm, which is now listed for $1.65 million, Southold Farm & Cellar will continue to sell their wine via their website at southoldfarmandcellar.com.
Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
13500 Main Road, Mattituck
A mainstay on the South Fork, Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria & Restaurant expanded in 2014, opening up spots in Mattituck and Riverhead. But it didn’t last for long.
By September of this year the Riverhead location had closed. Owner Joe Sciara said it just became too difficult to juggle the multiple locations and the Riverhead eatery wasn’t doing as well as the others. By October the Mattituck location had also shuttered.
Sciara said his wife and business partner France, was behind the decision to pull the plug.
“She said ‘you’re 76 years old. It’s time to only focus on one location,’” Sciara said.
He’ll now focus on his Hampton Bays pizzeria.
Vitale A Tea
49 East Main Street, Riverhead
Yet another Riverhead business closed its doors when Vitale A Tea, which offered fresh teas, tea tastings, juices and more, shut down in July.
Owner Carolyn Poncato said she felt a lack of support and interest from both Riverhead residents and officials, noting that most of her customers frequently came from towns farther west.
“I just couldn’t pull anybody from Riverhead and I couldn’t figure out why,” she said. “When you can’t get people into your brick and mortar, you have to move on.”
Poncato is now offering her products online at vitalatea.com.