First Look: Black Llama Cocktail & Oyster Bar opens in Greenport

The metallic bar at Black Llama shines. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

The owners of American Beech have created a new space to enjoy craft cocktails and tapas in Greenport’s historic Stirling Square.

Equal parts eclectic and curated, Black Llama Cocktail & Oyster Bar opened earlier this month with a menu of signature cocktails and light bites. Creative American Beech bartenders Taylor May and Ryan Farrell, who spend their downtime dreaming up craft cocktails behind the bar, inspired the new concept.

“We have a great group that has been doing an enormous amount of work coming up with interesting and delicious cocktails,” said owner Brent Pelton. “At Black Llama they will have a space to make curated, signature cocktails.”

The drink menu includes wine and beer, but highlights staff originals such as The Golden Child made with brown butter rum and charred pineapple and The Socialite, crafted with barrel aged gin, peach, chamomile and sparkling pear cider.

The specialty drinks pair well with shareable small-plate offerings. The menu includes the Bahn Mi dog made with Waygu beef, baked Brie with fig jam and shishito peppers.

Pelton, who purchased Stirling Square in September 2014, said the new addition complements the American Beech restaurant and boutique hotel, which he opened in 2015 in the largest building there.

The intimate lounge takes the place of cicchetti and wine bar Basso, which vacated the building in February. Ahead of its opening the space underwent extensive renovations that included pouring a new slab and installing a new HVAC system. Pelton’s partner, fashion designer Alex Vinash, designed the space. He drew on inspiration from his home country of Argentina in the décor.

“I wanted to bring something more cozy, thinking a bit on my origin,” Vinash said. “Argentina has llamas … and a black one is very difficult to find. It’s something different with a meaning.”

The two-room Black Llama, which has a separate dining area dubbed the Monkey Room in addition to the bar and lounge, was created to accommodate private parties.

“We’re really excited about the space,” Pelton said. “It is sharp, sophisticated and cozy. It is going to be a great spot to enjoy during the winter season.”

The private dining space is dubbed “The Monkey Room” for its fun wallpaper. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Black Llama is a part of the American Beech brand, which expanded in 2018 to include another boutique hotel Aqua by American Beech in Aquebogue. Its opening also marks the first in a line of planned changes coming to the Stirling Square complex in the coming months.

The hotel plans to expand into the space formerly home to The Doofpot, which closed this fall after 46 years in Stirling Square. The plan is to convert the north side of the former ceramics store into the new lobby, with a Main Road entrance and an additional entrance with a glass wall facing the courtyard of Stirling Square. The current lobby would likely be used as a retail space.

A second-floor apartment would be modified into two commercial hotel units. And the attic space on the third floor would also be converted into a hotel room.

Black Llama Cocktail & Oyster Bar, located at 300 Main Street in Greenport, is open at 4 p.m. daily, year-round.