After being closed for three years, Sagaponack’s beloved Old Stove Pub has re-lit its iconic neon sign to welcome guests to its 51st year of business.
Put on the market in September 2018, Old Stove Pub received much-needed renovations on the century-old structure in the months that followed. When the owner brought his family to check out the finished result, his nine-year-old son looked at him with stars in his eyes and exclaimed, “Daddy, take that for sale sign down!” And so, the broker representing the property, Global Group CEO/founder Joseph DeCristofaro, did just that, and helped them to reopen the business instead. “They’ve always loved the place,” he adds. “And they loved the work that was done. [The undisclosed owner] never really wanted to sell it, so he decided right then and there to take it off the market and make a long-term lease with me.”
In “keeping all the existing character in place,” DeCristofaro, Old Stove Pub’s new operator and restaurant owner, describes the redesign as largely the same just new—updated kitchen, hardwood floors, bar, fireplace, plumbing, electric, etc. There is plenty of space to dine inside and out, but, even still, DeCristofaro has arranged the seating at about 1/3 capacity to maximize social distancing and guest safety. In addition to the charming indoor and patio spaces, the large outdoor dining area features picnic tables, waitress service, cocktails and lite fare. Returning guests will be happy to discover the famed piano tuned and carefully relocated to the porch, as well as the signature artwork by Leroy Neiman still intact in the indoor dining room.
The menu offers many of the classic Old Stove Pub favorites that returning patrons will remember fondly, such as the Greek salad and Sagaponack Dry Rubbed Steak, the latter of which is served on the original restaurant plates from back in the day. The menu has also expanded on the Greek steakhouse cuisine to add dishes with more Mediterranean flair. Current offerings include Lavraki, Jumbo Grilled Prawns, Australian Rack of Lamb, Broiled Salmon and Prime Filet Mignon.
DeCristofaro is a Southampton-born real estate broker, real estate investor and entrepreneur. “I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 14,” he says, listing various jobs he held at Southampton Bath & Tennis Club, Lobster Inn and Summers Club, before going on to own his first restaurant, the Polo Club in Westhampton, in his early twenties.
“We plan on growing our client base and our customer loyalty slowly,” he says. “I’d rather serve 30 great dinners than 50 average ones.” While he would prefer not to get too busy too quickly, he admits that a few big celebrities already discovered Old Stove Pub before it officially reopened on Wednesday, July 1, and they’re frequenting the restaurant’s private dinner service.
Old Stove Pub is located at 3516 Montauk Highway, Sagaponack. It’s currently open for dinner service Wednesday to Sunday and will remain open year-round. For more information and to peruse the full menu, visit oldstovepub.com.