A piece of the Oak Beach Inn will live on at the new Coastal in Bay Shore


Longtime visitors to Oak Beach Inn will be happy to know a recognizable piece of driftwood art from their beloved haunt will be washing up in Bay Shore.

When Coastal Kitchen & Daiquiri Bar opens at 12 East Main Street this fall, the 3-foot long wooded village that was displayed for years behind the main bar at “The OBI” will be featured in the new restaurant.

Who created the piece isn’t known to its new owner, Anthony Tartaglia of Bay Shore, who is opening Coastal with his brother, Andrew, along with chef  Zach Rude.

The brothers also own the popular Verde Kitchen & Cocktails.

Anthony Tartaglia said he got a call Saturday at Verde from someone telling him about an estate sale at the former home of the late Robert Matherson, the controversial owner of the OBI franchise of nightclubs.

“She called and said, ‘Listen I think this would be great for Coastal; it was behind the bar at Oak Beach Inn for years and years,” he said. “And I went down there and bought it. And got a bunch of bumper stickers and others cool stuff.”

One of those “Save the Oak Beach Inn” bumper stickers is pictured above and will be displayed at Coastal as well.

The Oak Beach Inn, birthplace of the Long Island Iced Tea, was located on the bay side of Oak Beach on Jones Beach Island, just west of Captree.

During his time operating the massive club, Matherson, who died in 2007, publicly claimed years of harassment from police and elected officials as he was locked in a decades-long fight to keep OBI open. Click here to read more.

Matherson distributed Save the Oak Beach Inn bumper stickers, co-authored a book called Scandal at the Oak Beach Inn: Political Corruption vs. Long Island’s Hottest Nightclub and event initiated a “Move Out of New York Before It’s Too Late” advertising campaign.

The building was razed in 2003, to the disappointment of many.

Tartaglia said he doesn’t think he’ll be able to fit the huge piece behind the bar at Coastal.

“So I’ll probably put it on top of the vestibule when you walk into the restaurant for good exposure,” he said. “It could become a focal point.”

The piece itself depicts a seaside village scene, complete with a hotel.

“It’s a nice piece of driftwood with a village and a lot of character going on,” he said. “But my favorite part is its history, coming from the OBI, and that they thought of us at Coastal to be the new owners.”

“This fits perfectly with what we’re going for, which is a beach bar, eclectic and Caribbean vibe,” he continued. “We were actually kicking around the idea of calling the restaurant the Ocean Beach North, or OBN, before the concept shifted a bit [away from a beachy dive bar scene] and we went with Coastal.”

Top: Anthony Tartaglia of Coastal with the driftwood art that helped decorate the bar at Oak Beach Inn for years. (Credit: Michael White)

The piece will likely be displayed above the front door at the new Coastal, opening later this year.

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