Restaurateur Dennis McDermott has confirmed an opening day for American Beech, his newest Greenport venture.
“We’re shooting for mid-July … -ish,” he said recently while touring the Stirling Square restaurant, which is owned by attorney Brent Pelton and will be operated by McDermott.
OK, so maybe the restaurant’s exact launch date has yet to be determined, but those who are interested can get a taste of chef Arielle Ferrara’s cooking during the Tall Ships festival in the village this weekend. American Beech will be offering street corn, which is a Mexican-style corn with chili lime butter, cheese and cilantro, as well as chicken and shrimp skewers.
Expect New American fare, small plates and a coastal vibe when the eatery finally opens its turquoise front door later this month.
“We want everyone to want to come here all the time,” said McDermott, who most recently owned the now-shuttered restaurant The Riverhead Project.
The interior of the building, which most recently housed the chef Keith Luce venture “Main,” has been completely refurbished. Off-white clapboard has replaced the siding, the upstairs has been gutted and most of the windows and doors have been replaced.
The mostly completed interior features a gray and white color scheme. White painted pine is trimmed with American beech wood and fluffy pillows will embellish the padded seats.
“It’s a relaxed, kind of beachy feel,” McDermott said. “The gray and white makes it very comfortable. Even the napkin boxes we made for the bar are American beech.”
“There’s a sophistication and a sexiness to it, but you don’t feel like you have to be careful,” he continued. “We want people to laugh and have a good time here.”
Outside the 45-seat eatery will be a 45-seat pergola-covered patio and an outdoor bar with sofa seating surrounding a new brick fireplace.
Expect the five-room inn on the building’s second story — which will feature suites with televisions, sofas and a wet bar — to open sometime in August.
The menu has not been finalized, as McDermott, chef Ferrara and their crew are still testing recipes. But at least one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails has been determined. The “Greenport Mule,” which will likely be served in a copper cup, will be made with mescal (a tequila-like liquor), lime juice and ginger beer.
“To me this is going to be the best place to be in the Greenport in the winter,” McDermott said. “It’s going to be great.”