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American Beech in Greenport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

We’re counting down the top coolest stories of 2015 on We will publish one story on our list per day, every day, until Jan. 1.

Coming in at number 4 is the revitalization of Stirling Square.

In the summer of 2014, Matt Michel opened the tasty wood-fired pizza joint 1943 Pizza Bar and the hip underground cocktail lounge Brix & Rye in Greenport’s Stirling Square, but the large anchor restaurant and two other smaller storefronts in the complex were still vacant.

But by fall 2015, the square was back at full occupancy.

Manhattan attorney Brent Pelton purchased the square in September 2014 and before long, plans were in motion for each of the complex’s vacant buildings.

American Beech, a New American eatery from restaurateur Dennis McDermott with chef Arielle Ferrara at the helm, has received favorable reviews from both the New York Times and Newsday since opening in late summer. Basso, an Italian market, has been serving up Italian delicacies like cicchetie, olives and cheeses since mid-summer. Joann Brancato has also opened the design studio Open Spaces.

Most recently, the Suites at American Beech, a five-room inn, opened above the restaurant after the building was completely gutted and renovated.

“I’m thrilled with the square becoming a social hub of Greenport,” Pelton said. “People said, ‘This place is so important.’ It’s great to see people connecting here. We’re trying to be as inviting to everyone as possible.”