Family members team up to bring Rooster’s Cafe to Bellport Village


Work on the new Rooster’s Cafe is underway in the old Meritage restaurant space in the heart of Bellport Village.

After long careers in restaurants and hospitality, chef James Malone of Ridge is teaming up with his mother-in-law Annamae Russo of Patchogue on the new eatery.

The hope is to open early next year, offering trendy, upscale breakfast and lunch on Station Road just north of Main Street.

There will be plenty of room for kids at Rooster’s.

“We’re focusing on this being a family-type place,” said Malone, whose wife, Tiffany Russo-Malone, a Bellport High School graduate, is also involved in the business.

“We want to attract people from 2 to 90 years old, and everywhere in between,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean dinner and drinks is off the table.

The plan is to introduce a little nightlife during the warmer months, especially in midsummer when the population of the bayside village swells.

“The emphasis is breakfast and lunch, but dinner will happen, with beer and wine and maybe liquor down the road,” said Malone, who’s cooked in restaurants for 25 years.

He recently left his position at the Mount Sinai Yacht Club to open Rooster’s Cafe. 

The family signed a lease in late October and got right work gutting the building that last hosted Basil, a short-lived Italian restaurant that closed in 2013.

When it’s unveiled, Rooster’s Cafe will have new floors, ceilings, doors and trim throughout. The kitchen is being expanded and the bathrooms redone.

The old bar toward the front of the restaurant has been removed for more seating. There will be a smaller sit-up counter in the back that will double as a bar at night.

Malone told GreaterPatchogue he’ll talk more about specific menu items when Rooster’s Cafe gets closer to opening.

He credits Russo with the idea behind the trendy luncheonette, something lacking in the village.

“The concept is really my mother-in-law’s; she had a dream of always doing this,” Malone said. “I kind of helped her put it all together, and here we are.”

She also got to pick the name.

“I always said, ‘Roosters Cafe,’” she laughed, “because I like Roosters.”

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