After closing down their adored neighborhood spot on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Emily Demarchelier was excited to continue her family’s legacy in Greenport. The new location was meant to bring that same neighborhood feel to the new Demarchelier, which was set to open in April.
But since the coronavirus arrived on the North Fork three weeks ago, places like Demarchelier that had planned to open in the coming weeks and months have been forced to take a wait-and-see approach. The list includes the new Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue, North Fork Road House in Mattituck and Duryea’s Orient Point, which is opening this year at the former Orient by the Sea.
“There’s not much to say,” Demarchelier said. “Building permits have been placed on hold and right now, without that moving forward and construction unable to move forward, I don’t have a plan other than to be patient.”
She added that if social distancing continues into the summer, she will have to readjust her business plan.
“I just don’t know what that looks like right now, but likely some sort of takeout or provisioning of French goods,” she said. “This is just a disaster.”
Northfork Roadhouse in Mattituck, where construction continued last week, was also supposed to open in just a matter of weeks. An owner declined an interview on their updated plans last week, saying the restaurant at the western edge of Route 48, the former home to Porto Bello, wasn’t quite ready yet.
The tasting room at Peconic Bay Winery on Main Road in Cutchogue, which has been closed since 2013, is slated to reopen under new owners Crossroads Ag around Memorial Day weekend.
“We still set that as our goal,” said general manager Ken Cereola, who will work alongside Stacey Soloviev operating the winery. “We are in a unique situation because the winery has been closed for the last six or seven years, so thankfully we haven’t been put in a pressure situation where we have to try to conduct some sort of business to stay open.”
There have been some challenges because of the coronavirus, such as dealing with delays from suppliers and the inability to hire staff at the moment.
“We don’t know when we should really start with the hiring process,” Cereola said. “We don’t want to bring a bunch of people on board in anticipation of opening and then all of a sudden this is going to be another month or two or three months.”
Duryea’s Orient Point, a second location to Duryea’s Lobster Deck in Montauk, was still hoping to open by the end of next month, but new construction regulations could delay those plans.
Steven Jauffrineau, managing partner at Montauk Asset Holdings, said last week that the restaurant and marina was about three weeks from opening. Aside from completing renovations, Duryea’s also plans to wait out the order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that is currently limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery only.
“There is this moral compass that is hanging over our heads where just because we are allowed to open [for takeout] doesn’t mean we will,” Jauffrineau said. “We will open, it’s just a question of when we can. I want to make sure that we are ready.”