Everyone who lives in and around the Hamptons knows the value of a good lobster roll, but unfortunately, getting one’s hands on a top-quality roll hasn’t always been the simplest task, especially in the off-season. Then on December 9, Lobster Roll aka LUNCH opened their new year-round location at Southampton’s old Silver Linings Diner.
As famous as the original Lobster Roll is on the Napeague Stretch — and it is TV famous thanks to The Affair — the brand’s continued growth was somewhat limited by the restaurant’s size, location and seasonality. Realizing this, co-owners Fred Terry, Paul DeAngelis and Andrea Anthony recruited Irwin Simon, CEO/chairman of Tilray Inc. and former CEO/founder of the Hain Celestial Group, to launch Lobster Roll to new heights.
“I reached out to him to join our group because I felt that we took the brand as far as it could go, and we needed somebody to catapult us forward,” Anthony says, adding that she had known Simon for about 20 years and it was him who suggested the former diner as the brand’s first expansion. “The location speaks for itself — it’s really on the perch of entering the Hamptons area toward Montauk, so we felt that the location was absolutely prime.”
Originally scheduled to open shortly after the Napeague/Amagansett restaurant closed for the season in October, the Southampton location’s soft opening was delayed due to pandemic complications. Thankfully, the team still managed to make their debut in the off-season with plenty of time to work up to the summer rush. “During COVID, trying to move things along, get permits, order things — everything was backed up, so we were way behind schedule,” Anthony shares. “But we’re still in the timeframe that we want to be in.”
The design of the Southampton location has been kept on-brand with the three pillars of the Lobster Roll aesthetic: nautical, casual and retro. And a neon-like “LUNCH” sign once again draws in longtime fans and passersby alike. “It’s new and exciting, but I think we nailed the vibe,” Anthony says, noting how important it was to keep the Lobster Roll experience consistent in this new location. “Our brand is our brand, and we want to be consistent with that brand.”
The new space offers so much, well, space that Anthony and the team can finally host the parties they’d been forced to turn away for years. “I turned so many catering parties away in Amagansett, because I don’t have the sequestered space, but here, we have plenty of space — a separate room, a separate entrance — it’s perfectly designed for private parties,” she says.
As part of the Southampton restaurant renovations, back-of-house expert Paul DeAngelis had the diner kitchen ripped out and replaced with a “genius” state-of-the-art kitchen that allows the team to offer new menu items like three-pound lobster, grab-and-go items like Paul’s Famous Seafood Chili, an increased selection of Andrea’s Obsession Desserts and even shippable lobster kits. Plus, a new late-night cocktail bar allows them to serve drinks such as the Basil Hayden Manhattan and Belvedere Cosmopolitan, as well as wines from Wölffer Estate and Hampton Water.
DeAngelis’ revamped menu offers classic hot or cold lobster rolls, Hearty Manhattan Seafood Chowder, Lobster Grilled Cheese, Baked Stuffed Flounder and the Finest Steamers and Broth. Next summer, when both Lobster Roll locations will be open, the menus will be kept largely the same, with the same options available for either lunch or dinner. As for dessert, the top of Anthony’s list of home-made baked treats is her Caramel Apple Crisp a la Mode, and there are many other goodies to choose from.
What many don’t realize about Lobster Roll’s signature dish, Anthony points out, is that founder Fred Terry is said to be the first person to sell lobster rolls on the East End, way back in the 1960s. “I really think that’s noteworthy to our brand,” she says. “It makes us different than everybody else selling lobster rolls in the New York Metro area.” Terry now fills the role of chief financial officer and remains an integral part of the team from behind the scenes.
Not to sell her own contributions short, Anthony explains that since joining the team in 1978, three short years before DeAngelis joined, she is always on the lookout for new markets to tap into, beginning with the kids several decades ago. “I felt that we needed an extensive children’s menu to accommodate that market, so that was one thing we got into,” she explains. “We encouraged children to come in and patronize our restaurant. Not many places in the Hamptons really did that.”
Following the success of the kids’ menu, Anthony introduced a robust gluten-free menu, with special protocols and separate cooking stations required to minimize cross-contamination and better assure food-sensitive patrons a safe and delicious meal. And now with the Southampton location, Lobster Roll is finally tapping into the year-round local market with not only a diverse menu but an upcoming line of lifestyle apparel for people and dogs, too!
“It’s our flagship now. This represents the future for us and the multitude of areas we will push into,” Anthony says. “In Amagansett, our slogan has been, ‘This is where summer begins.’ In Southampton and going forward it’s, ‘This is where summer never ends.’”
The second location of Lobster Roll aka LUNCH is now open at 32 Montauk Highway, Southampton. Call 631-267-3740 or visit lobsterroll.com for more info.