Sign up for our Newsletter

The three business partners —Lousie and Devin Hardman along side Kate McDowell — at the Kate’s Cheese Co. countertop. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Kate’s Cheese Company is celebrating its grand opening this weekend with a selection of craft beer, local wine and 40 cheeses to sample.

Expect gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and an array of charcuterie boards on the menu along with cheese for purchase.

The shop also has a 100-percent local wine list featuring North Fork favs such as McCall merlot and Croteaux rosé available by the glass and bottle in addition to a wide selection of beer sourced from craft breweries throughout the Northeast. Kombucha, team and North Fork Roasting Co. coffee are also on beverage list.

“We want to be more than just a cheese shop,” said owner Kate McDowell of Southold. “We want to be place where people can sit down and relax.”

One of the 40 cheese the shop will have on hand for Saturday’s grand opening. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

McDowell, a freelance photographer, has owned the 19 Front St. building since 1996 and used to operate “Kate’s One-Hour Photo” at the location. The interior has received extensive interior renovations during the last several months.

The original 1920s wood floors have been restored and architectural details re-mastered to create an “eclectic -bohemian-farmhouse” feel with cozy furnishings to match.

“Everything discovered in the building [during the renovation] is the décor,” said Devin Hardman, McDowell’s son and business partner. “Everything is recycled or from local suppliers. We want people to feel comfortable, like they’re in their living room.”

Emphasizing locally made goods was a priority for the owners. The menu includes provisions from North Fork purveyors, which are also available to purchase in the shop’s retail space.

“If people taste something on the menu and enjoy it, we want them to be able to take it home,” said Hardman, whose wife Louisa is also a partner. “As time goes on, we’ll be building on our menu based on what the customers dictate and what’s in season.”

The back of the shop will have furniture and artwork made by local artists for sale. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Kate’s Cheese Company will also double as an events space for showing local artists and, eventually, hosting live acoustic music. The shop is also selling local artwork on display.

The grand opening is Saturday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Croteaux Vineyards will be serving complimentary tastings of rosé during the event from 3 to 7 p.m.

The North Fork Art Collective was previously renting the space and is now planning a grand opening reception at its new location four doors east at 15 Front St. on Saturday, May 25.

[email protected]