It started with a single photo found in the depths of Southside Bar and Restaurant.
The landmark that is 5 Third Avenue in Bay Shore just reopened as a music-driven bar concept under a new name: Goldy’s Gems
Michael Lessing Jr. recalled the moment he and his team started the construction phase.
“We closed in June and we started to go down to the bones of this place and start tearing it up,” Lessing said. “We found these boxes of relics – really old menus, from like the 1940s and 50s with like $4 cheeseburgers.”
Amongst the hidden treasures were dozens of vintage Bay Shore photographs, including one of a softball team sporting uniforms embroidered with the name “Goldy’s Gems.”
The name caught Lessing’s eye.
“It’s such a sweet logo, and it’s actually a pretty cool name for a bar, I just loved everything about it,” Lessing said.
They replicated the original logo design, and Lessing said they plan on restoring the photograph to hang in the bar.
Story continues after photo.
A ‘timeless feel’
The Lessing’s are going for a “timeless” feel to their bar, which features cozy leather couches, cocktails, boilermakers, and a golden disco ball that throws sparkle across the interior space.
They kept the staple, wooden Southside bar, which after all this time remains in pristine condition, Lessing said.
“We knew we wanted to keep the bar and in order to keep the bar, we had to find the right décor to be able to highlight the old charm of this place, while still adding a new feel,” he said.
With dozens of beers on draft and house cocktails being the main attraction, the Lessing’s team is hoping Goldy’s becomes a go-to hangout spot for friends.
Lessing said Goldy’s Gems caters to those who want a night of dancing, to belly-up to the bar for the evening, or grab a seat on the comfy couch with their clique for a chill hang.
The resident DJ, James McGaley, will bring a broad range of music to his evening set lists, good for people of all tastes, and to keep people moving.
“I wanted to create a space that reminded me of a place I used to go to in Brooklyn or the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where you can go to these really fun, approachable bars, where everyone feels welcome and there’s no pretension,” he said. “Dive-y in a sense, but you know you’re going to get a killer cocktail.”
The building also serves as a pick-up location and home to Lucky Clucker, Lessing’s Hospitality Group’s popular ghost kitchen.
Goldy’s Gems guests will also have self-serve ordering access to the entire Lucky Clucker menu, without needing to get it delivered elsewhere.
“We wanted to be able to offer that Lucky Clucker menu to our guests in a really discreet, contact-less, casual setting — no servers or table settings,” Lessing said. “You can order some food, get some fried chicken and continue on partying.”
Family and friends who attended the soft opening Dec. 16 got the first taste and look at Goldy’s Gems.
Lessing said he hopes to establish and maintain a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the community.
“What’s old is new again,” said Mark Lessing, executive vice president of Lessing’s Restaurant Group. “For anyone who knows the Southside Bar, we haven’t really changed a thing.”
Scroll down for photos of Goldy’s Gems. Be sure to click on the numbered boxes to see them all.