Ditch Kitchen & Surf Bar wraps up first LI summer; will stay open year-round


It’ll be an endless summer for the owners of Ditch Kitchen & Surf Bar.

Located at 25 Bayview Ave., this new Bay Shore restaurant has just closed the books on its first big summer on the Great South Bay.

And get this, locals: Ownership has announced that Ditch will remain open year-round.

“We want you to feel like you’re on vacation when you come here,” no matter the time of year, said Ditch co-owner Alex Anderson. “We want to bring the beach to you, whether it’s 80 degrees outside or if there’s two feet of snow” on the ground.

The restaurant’s name is an ode to Ditch Plains, the popular Montauk beach.

“It’s my favorite beach and was a significant part of my childhood,” said Ditch co-owner Tracy Smith, who helped launch the restaurant in the former LaLa’s Lounge location in June.

“We wanted to create the perfect blend of southern California and the Hamptons,” Smith added.

The beach-themed surf bar certainly resembles something you’d find on the East End, with a laid-back, casual vibe that features a bright space and chill music. The food menu is filled with light, beach-like fare, including a variety of tacos, sandwiches, salads, and, of course, the Montauk-style Lobster Roll, as well as small plate apps like LA Street Corn and Crab Cakes. But unlike many spots in the Hamptons, Ditch will be open and offering new menu items for every season, including fall and winter.

How it started

Both Smith and Anderson have been friends for a long time. Smith is actually best buddies with Anderson’s husband, Sean.

Smith and Anderson have similar backgrounds. They climbed the ranks in the restaurant industry, working in top places on Long Island and New York City before both ended up in management.

While hanging out together one day and chatting about work, Anderson offered up an idea:

“Why don’t we just do something together?”

Smith responded with a quick yes. They were off to the races.

After a frustrating two-year search for the perfect location to launch their envisioned brand, the Andersons and Smith were nearly ready to move to Texas.

That was until this Bay Shore location became available directly north of Bay Shore Marina.

They looked at the space and immediately knew. Now, after being open for three months, they can officially say it was a great choice. “I love Bay Shore,” said Smith. “The people have been so inviting and welcoming, even in the surrounding areas.

If you go

Smith mentioned that since opening, the best response they’ve received from people is compliments on the dining menu.

That credit goes to Luis Vasquez, a veteran chef who previously worked a decade at Tres Palms in Babylon, bringing the beachy menu to life in Bay Shore with his own signature touches. Items like his Yucca Poppers, which are yucca balls served over guacamole, herbs, and chipotle aioli.

“It’s not that common in the U.S., and you get that ‘wow’ factor from people who try it for the first time,” Vasquez told Greater Long Island.

As for the menu, Ditch has among the best happy hour on the island. Called “High Tide,” it runs from noon to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Here are some of the deals:

  • Spicy Margarita – $10
  • Margarita – $8
  • Island Rum Punch – $8
  • Frozen Paloma – $10
  • Draft beer – $6 | Can beer – $5
  • Mussels – $8
  • Yucca Poppers – $6
  • Wings – $5
  • Street Corn – $6
Yucca Poppers from Ditch Kitchen & Surf Bar. (Credit: Facebook/Ditch)

Top: Ditch owners Tracy Smith and Alex Anderson outside of their new restaurant in Bay Shore. (Courtesy photo)

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