Claudio’s in Greenport has sold.
Co-owner Jan Claudio confirmed the sale of the iconic waterfront property Monday. The main restaurant was opened in 1870 by Manuel Claudio and has been billed as the longest continuously family-owned eatery in the United States.
“It is certainly not a clear feeling after so many years and having invested so much of our lives in the property,” Claudio said. “It’s a good thing. The buyers are good people and will do good things for the property and the village.”
She declined to identify the buyer or the sale price. In a statement on social media, the Claudio family said the new buyers will keep the names of the businesses.
The restaurant complex, which includes Claudio’s, Claudio’s Clam Bar and Crabby Jerry’s, had been on the market since January 2015.
A previously proposed sale of the property for $12.25 million fell through early last year. Claudio told Northforker last month that the family was in preliminary talks with a new group about the sale of the property, but those discussions were “not yet serious.”
At a Feb. 22 Village Board meeting in Greenport, action being taken by a potential buyer for the Claudio’s restaurant complex was mentioned briefly. The village had published a legal notice for an LLC “to be formed by David Weitz,” saying it intended to pursue liquor licenses for all three restaurants.
According to a listing portfolio released in late 2014 by New York City real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, The Claudio’s property could sustain up to 50,000 square feet of additional construction without disturbing the existing restaurants.
For nearly 30 years, Claudio’s has been owned by a corporation that includes Bill and Jan Claudio, Kathy Claudio and Beatrice and Jerry Tuthill. Mr. Tuthill died in 2016.
The group purchased Claudio’s in 1989 from the siblings’ father, William Claudio Sr., who had owned the popular bar and restaurant since 1930.
The following is the complete statement released by the family:
“To our many wonderful friends, fans and loyal patrons: Kathy, Bill, Janice, Beatsy and the late Jerry Tuthill – the Claudio/Tuthill family – would like to publicly announce the sale of our businesses, Claudio’s Restaurant, Claudio’s Clam Bar and Crabby Jerry’s. While this marks the end of a long era for our family, we believe it also serves as a new beginning for the property, one which we hope will be filled with innovation and growth. Change is necessary for advancement and after being at the helm for 27 springs, summers and falls, we go confidently knowing the vision and drive of new ownership will allow future generations to experience and enjoy what our family has built over 147 years. Things will be different, but we are also pleased to share that some things will remain the same. The Claudio name will live on with the property and all three eateries will continue to serve, inviting you all to come and make new memories each season, as in so many seasons past.
Owning restaurants is not just a profession, it is a way of life, and closing the door on this chapter for us comes with many mixed emotions. Greenport Village runs deep in our DNA and while we are glad to have seen Claudio’s be such a big part of the downtown growth for many years, we are also sad we will no longer be so woven into the fiber of what makes the community tick. We’ll be watching with eager anticipation over the next few years as we believe many exciting changes are coming; not just to our property but to the Village we love so profoundly and have called home for so long.
In an industry notorious for staff turnover, our family has been fortunate to have had many, many devoted core crew members without whom we would have never been able to survive those pounding summer days. From our bus kids to our head chefs and everyone in between – because of you, we never had to choose between quality and quantity; you allowed us to achieve both and for that we will be forever grateful.
To our customers, we cannot thank you enough for your loyalty. Thank you for being the reason we got up every morning, thank you for all the good times you shared with us, thank you for making at least one visit to Claudio’s every summer. It is a rich tapestry of lives that have crossed our doors and created lasting memories; we would like to believe a piece of those many voices remain forever in some magical way. It would be impossible to express how appreciative we are that you made our family tradition a part of your own. We’re so glad you walked alongside us on this journey.
For us, there can be no replacement for the vibrancy of those blue-sky summer days full of staff energy and effort and the throng of customers and boaters to greet and serve. Or the fun-filled nights of packed bars, live music rippling out across the water and a full dance floor. The crazy, the calm, we loved it all.
And so we move on – excited, wistful and sad all rolled into one. From the very bottom of our hearts – thanks for the memories, they have defined our lives.”