Daniel and Kristen Pennessi weren’t exactly looking to sell The Menhaden this year when a guest at the hotel made them an offer.
Jonathan Hoenig, managing partner with Atlantic Equity Partners, a New England-based real estate private equity firm, had stayed at the hotel multiple times before making a proposal to acquire it. After some discussion, it became clear the parties had come to terms that were favorable to all-involved, Daniel Pennessi said.
So after just two and a half years in business, the 16-room Front Street boutique is under new ownership this summer.
“It’s bittersweet for me and [my wife] Kristen since we enjoyed building from the ground up and operating with a great team,” he said.
The terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Meyer Jabara Hotels, which operates a wide range of hotels across 11 states, is now managing the property for the new ownership group. In a press release, MJH president Justin Jabara described The Menhaden as a “one-of-a-kind asset.”
“This property is charming and timeless,” he said.
The business boasts luxury rooms, a gift shop and the only rooftop bar in Greenport.
Each floor of the three-story hotel includes a galley with complimentary items and guests are treated to free transportation through an electric-powered car and bicycles.
Hoenig and Pennessi both said the hotel will remain in good hands under the new management team.
“Meyer Jabara brings generations of management experience and a broad knowledge of markets throughout the U.S. that we intend to invest in,” Hoenig said in a statement. “Every member of their team is hands-on, accessible and thorough from property level manager to upper-level management and ownership.”
Pennessi added that the sale of the nautical-themed hotel is a testament to the level of service his team provided in its first two years and to the growing popularity of the North Fork. The new management group said business continued to thrive during the pandemic and is doing its biggest business yet this year.
Part-time Orient residents and partners at Croteaux Vineyards in Southold, the Pennessis plan to stay involved in the North Fork business community.
They said they enjoyed bringing The Menhaden to Greenport.
The hotel was built on a vacant site that had previously been home to a hotel in the 1800s. They received approvals to develop the property in 2017 and broke ground a year later. The building was constructed by local companies Condon Engineering of Mattituck and Heidtmann & Sons in Cutchogue. It opened its doors in December 2018.
The Pennessis named the hotel The Menhaden as a way of honoring Greenport’s maritime history.
“Menhaden, also known as bunker fish, are arguably one of, if not the most important fish in the sea,” Kristen Pennessi said in 2018, adding that Native Americans in the area used menhaden to fertilize their crops and the fish were also used for lamp oil. “We just felt the connection of menhaden to Greenport’s roots as a fishing village — we really liked the connection and we thought it was a perfect fit.”
It’s one of several Greenport hotels to be sold to an investment group in recent years, following the same path as The Soundview on Route 48 and the neighboring Harborfront Inn. Other nearby hotels, including American Beech, have undergone expansions.