Little Creek Oyster Farm and Market, the popular downtown Greenport shellfish shack, is expanding into Southold.
The U-shuck oyster bar is planning to open The Station by Little Creek inside a 1920s-era fishing building at Port of Egypt Marine in the coming months. Little Creek owner Ian Wile said The Station would have a similar concept to the original market and would also serve as a maritime hub with educational events and a marketplace for shellfish farmers to sell their products.
“The fishing station at Port of Egypt has served generations of fishermen and women. It once was truly a vital component of the culture of the area,” he said. “Within these simple walls we hope to reinvigorate this as a hub. In keeping with the Little Creek way, we expect a near constant evolution.”
Goals include water-based transportation between The Station and Little Creek, as well as oyster farm tours and other on-water experiences, he said. Additionally, there are several plans in the works to bolster the fishing community as a whole. These ideas include adding a cooperative New York State certified cold-storage space and an ice production area to help oyster farmers transport shellfish safely.
The family-owned marina, which has been in business since 1946, has the infrastructure needed for the lofty expansion, and the passion for making it happen.“It seems like a natural-fit progression,” said Port of Egypt general manager Will Lieblein, who was briefly an oyster farmer himself. “They are doing things we believe in. They are helping to develop the oyster farming industry and we’re happy to be a part of that.”
Little Creek Oyster Farm and Market first opened in a 19th century bait and tackle shop just east of Mitchell Park Marina in 2014. In the fall, Wile posted to social media asking if any followers or businesses knew of a vacant space for expansion. To his surprise, many responded.
“The Lieblein Family approached us. We are honored to be working with them,” he said. “We have found another wonderfully quirky building, rich in local history. Everyone is excited to be bringing the building back to life.”
The old fishing station, which once housed Eagle’s Neck Paddling, is currently undergoing renovations and no opening date has been set.
“We are working diligently to get all the moving parts together,” Wile said, noting that the Greenport location will remain open. “People who heard about [The Station] were wondering if we were closing. We are not leaving our home in Greenport. While we are watchful of the economic changes in Greenport, we are quite happy and grateful for our home there.”