Lessings takes over Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue

The entranceway to The Vineyards in Aquebogue. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

The entranceway to The Vineyards in Aquebogue. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

The Great River-based hospitality firm Lessings has taken over operations at Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue.

Lessings, which operates a dozen catering halls and several restaurants across Long Island, entered a “long-term lease” with the property owners effective Jan. 3, according to COO Michael Lessings.

Lessings will perform some light renovations but will keep the Main Road venue, which offers the backdrop of vineyard vines, largely the same, he said.

“They’ve done a great job,” Lessings said. “We’re looking to continue with what they’ve done.”

All contracts for upcoming weddings will be honored, he added. The company has hired about five full-time and 15 part-time employees who worked for Vineyard Caterers, also known as The Vineyards.

The company is looking to host more corporate and community events at the Aquebogue space, in addition to its core wedding business, Lessings said.

The space can host a dinner for 250 people or a cocktail party for 300, he added.

Lessings, one of Long Island’s biggest catering companies, operates a catering hall in Montauk and at several country clubs across Nassau and Suffolk counties, but previously had no presence on the North Fork. The company has operated since 1890.

“As you look at our portfolio, the one piece that was missing was the vineyards,” Lessings said.

The Aquebogue building is owned by Anthippi Inc. The 4.8 acre property last changed hands in 1995, according to the Riverhead Town tax assessor’s office. The selling price was $300,000 at the time.

The previous operators could not be reached for comment.