On The Rock: The Chequit Inn changing with the times

chequit inn shelter island

Photo by Tara Smith

Change is in the air at the Chequit Inn. This Shelter Island landmark has been owned and operated by the Eklund family since 1995, but is transforming itself as it moves into the future.

This year, Liz Eklund manages the hotel and restaurant. She’s taking over for her parents, who are still involved in the business. What can visitors expect when they visit the Chequit? “Not the dark, wintry pub of the last 20 years,” Ms. Eklund said. “We have updated our bar and outside areas to a clean, fresh look.” The lighter color scheme and nautical theme give off a sense of comfort and relaxation, making it a picturesque destination to enjoy the summer weather. The redecoration also extends to the rooms of the hotel, many of them have been updated to reflect that nautical theme.

The new management team also includes Michael DeMarsico as the executive chef. Both the bar and restaurant have new menus. The wine and cocktail list includes special summer beverages and wine from many East End vineyards.

The new dining menu is what Ms. Eklund refers to as an “all day menu” that offers a wide variety of items. This includes different kinds of burgers, entrees such as pan-seared scallops and unique appetizers like fried pickles.

What the staff is truly excited to bring to customers is local vendors. They have partnered with Schmidt’s Market, serving their steak burgers wrapped in bacon, grass-fed, GMO-free products and local produce as well. “It’s important that we know where everything is coming from before we serve our customers,” Ms. Eklund said.

There will be live music every Saturday in August, just as there has been in years past, including local favorite bands like The Realm.

This Saturday, NY Front will be performing from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

chequit inn shelter island

Photo by Tara Smith

Tuesdays are S.I.N. Night — Happy hour prices 10 p.m.  to 1 a.m.

And Sundays on the terrace for 1 to 4 p.m. there are frozen drinks specials and the sounds of steel drum Island music from Steeldrumania.

Joining the team of local vendors is Gosia Rojek, who owns Pas-Par-Tou. The store, located last year on Bridge Street, has moved to the Chequit’s newly renovated ground floor of the Cedar House on Washington Street. Carrying an assortment of items — everything from imported luxury linens, nautical items, jewelry, gifts, and local artists’ work — Pas-Par-Tou will remain open until mid-October.

According to Ms. Eklund, there has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the “rebirth” of the Chequit. “It’s exciting. There’s more work to do, but this is a good start for us.” The Chequit Inn is located at 23 Grand Avenue in the Heights, just a few minutes up the hill from the North Ferry.