Ford’s Garage is gearing up to motor onto Long Island.
The automobile-themed burgers-and-brews chain — a Ford Motor Company licensee which currently operates in six states — is set to pull into its first New York location inside a spot at the Smith Haven Mall that was once home to Bobby’s Burger Palace.
Long Island Business News reported last month that Ford’s Garage will occupy a 5,100-square-foot space at the Lake Grove mall that was previously home to the burger chain founded by celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
The business publication reported that the company, which was co-founded by Long Island developer Steve Israel, has applied to the Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals in hopes of adding an outdoor dining extension to the planned Ford’s Garage.
“The revised request to have seasonal outdoor dining meets all of the zoning requirements and is certainly an approvable request,” Blaise Donadio, a planner for the town of Smithtown, told Long Island Business News.
To get a gist of the restaurant, here’s a video tour of a Ford’s Garage location in Kissimmee, Fla.
About Ford’s Garage
Ford’s Garage opened its first location in 2012 — according to company lore, the spot was less than a mile from the Fort Myers, Fla. winter home of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. It has since expanded to more than two dozen locations, with 19 throughout Florida and plans to keep growing.
Israel, who shares the same name with the former Long Island congressman, is a developer and entrepreneur who grew up on Long Island. He told Long Island Business News in October 2022 that he and his son, Jake, plan to open multiple Ford’s Garage locations in Suffolk and Nassau counties in the coming years.
Franchising for the gears-and-grub concept began in 2015, with outlets now in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.
“Growing up here, I know Long Island needs a solid, fun concept that I know works,” Israel said at the time.
Officials from Simon Property Group, which operates the Smith Haven Mall, did not return calls from Greater Long Island, nor did representatives for Ford’s Garage. It is not clear when the restaurant is set to open.
The chain bills itself as a “go-to neighborhood burger and brew joint” that pays tribute to the history of Ford Motor Company at locations designed to take on the look of a 1920s-era service station. Employees dress in auto shop uniforms and work among classic Ford vehicles and memorabilia.
Menu items stick to the car enthusiast’s theme with burgers that include the “Model ‘A’ and “The Jiffy,” along with offerings such as “Famous Firestone Shrimp” and “Edsel’s Hot Pretzels.” There are driving-themed drinks, too, such as the “Mustang Mary,” the “Motor-Jito” and the “Backseat Driver.”
Top: Ford’s Garage bartender serving up a beer. (Credit: Instagram/ fordsgarageusa)