The Chequit, the iconic inn in Shelter Island Heights that has been closed since changing hands a year ago, plans a partial reopening by June and has partnered with Noah Schwartz to spearhead three restaurants planned for the space.
The main floor space will feature a noodle, sushi and sake bar. The cafe and outdoor area will serve coffee with a light menu and turn into a wine bar in the evening. A sample menu from both of these restaurants will be available for outdoor dining starting June 1, and the sushi restaurant will open in full along with the main hotel later this summer.
The downstairs tavern space, meanwhile, will serve comfort food year round and will open at a later date.
Schwartz, the chef and owner of Noah’s in Greenport, said he has been as curious as other local residents about the future of the Chequit and its food spaces and leapt at the chance to revive them. “I’m excited about bringing the property back to some of its former glory,” he said. “It had a really good run of being one of the most fun places to be on the island and we hope to bring that back with a better quality of food.”
The Chequit was bought at auction in April 2020 by Stefan Soloviev, the owner of Crossroads Ag., which has amassed more than 1,100 agricultural acres on the North Fork in recent years. Stacey Soloviev, his former wife, is managing the property and overseeing the renovations.
Stacey Soloviev, who also manages Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm and Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue, said she hopes to use the farms and properties she has to her advantage, growing food for the restaurants.
“I have cattle and pigs so far,” she said. “We have greenhouses, we have the winery. And the concept is to actually grow most of the food that we’ll be serving in the restaurants.”
The working name for the sushi restaurant is Weakfish, the English term for the fish indigenous people on the island called chequit. “I’ve always wanted to have a noodle, sushi and sake bar, and Noah was really excited about that too — and so are a lot of people, just to have that on the island,” said Soloviev, who sought out Schwartz after becoming a regular at Noah’s.
Schwartz said he is eager to have a few menus to play with that are different than what he does at his farm-to-table Greenport restaurant, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. “It’s awesome for me as a chef to get to play a little bit, have different styles of cuisine and get to explore some Asian flavors that I’ve tried and not necessarily brought into my menu here at Noah’s because we’re really not influenced by that style of cuisine.”
Eleven hotel rooms in the Chequit’s annex building will open ahead of the main hotel on Memorial Day, Soloviev said, and those interested in booking can do so via the inn’s Facebook or Instagram pages.
Soloviev said she hopes renovation to the tavern space will be completed by the fall; if not, the tavern menu will be available from the main restaurant starting in the fall and the tavern space will launch in the spring of 2022.
“I’m really excited to just get people back in the hotel,” she said. “To get them eating outside and hearing the chatter and the laughter and smiles and seeing people enjoy themselves, especially after the year we had.”