Feeling down but not out, two Aquebogue brothers hope the third time will be the charm when it comes to opening a modern American restaurant at the former Starbucks location in Greenport.
Michael Moreo and his younger brother, Matthew, had high hopes two years ago when they set out to open The Greenport Eatery, their first restaurant in downtown Greenport. But just 100 days after its grand opening, superstorm Sandy battered the waterfront village, causing significant damage to the building and halting operations. Having never fully recovered, the brothers re-opened on a sporadic basis last summer, but a rainy season shut down business once again.
Undeterred, the Moreos opened the restaurant again last week under the name Front Street Bistro. The change represents a shift from causal, cafe-style dining to an emphasis on hot, upscale cuisine, beer and wine.
“I wasn’t going to let a hurricane and a bad season put me out,” Michael Moreo said. “We think of it as two years of learning experience that we can take and put into action.”
Front Street Bistro is currently open weekdays for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. By Memorial Day Weekend, the café will offer nighttime dining and an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch. The Moreos also plans to host monthly benefits to raise funds for local organizations, like Eastern Long Island Hospital. By May 26, summer hours will go into effect and the bistro will be open until at least midnight, Mr. Moreo said.
The eatery currently sells mainstays like bagels, wraps and café items, including baked treats and coffee. It will soon feature a newly-built wine bar and dinner menu featuring small hot plates, like mussels.
The wine bar will feature local, national and international selections available on a rotating basis. There will be beer on tap, but no liquor.
“We had a vision of what we wanted this place to be,” Mr. Moreo said. “It was never able to be fulfilled since the hurricane struck. What it was always supposed to be is going to happen this summer.”