One of the original owners of the old Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport has come galloping back.
When Linda Ringhouse and her former business partner announced in May 2019 that the beloved farm-to-table restaurant was closing after 11 years, the women wrote this on Facebook:
“The business and building will remain up for sale, with hopes that a future buyer will want to continue the tradition and lift up the legacy of this building as a long-standing institution in Bayport.”
The building was indeed sold, to Blue Point Brewing Co. co-founder Peter Cotter.
Who would have ever guessed the one to help “continue the tradition” would be Linda Ringhouse herself — who’s now teamed up with Cotter.
Welcome to the People’s Pub, which opened yesterday, Feb. 7, at 291 Bayport Ave.
“The [outpouring of support] both online and personally, from people I know and those I don’t, it’s just been really overwhelming. It gets me very emotional. It’s really a remarkable thing and I’m just grateful to be back.”
Like old times, Ringhouse will be running the restaurant. Cotter, the godfather of Long Island’s craft beer scene, will be running the beverage program and helping curate the live musical acts.
The idea is to return the landmark building, which is believed to have operated continually as an inn, watering hole and restaurant since it was built in 1868, to its former glory — especially in the realm of the packed-out musical performances that drew visitors from miles around to Grey Horse.
“What those two women created here was pure magic,” Cotter previously told Greater Long Island about Grey Horse Tavern. “I’m humbled and honored to continue some of that tradition.”
Since agreeing to team up in the fall, Cotter and Ringhouse have been working to give the interior a facelift to bring it more in-line with the period it was built. Certainly new paint and lighting fixtures helped do the trick there. The place was also outfitted with new tap lines and a state-of-the art sound system, Cotter said.
“And what’s going on with the talents of chef Tom Mitrakos is off the hook,” he added.
As for that food, they wanted to keep things delicious yet simple, like the place’s new namesake.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel here,” she said. “We’ll have the best beer you can find and beautiful drinks. Classic drinks. And pub food, but [elevated] pub food. The building is a classic so we wanted to match that.” [Click here for the food and drink menus.]
“I never really wanted to leave in the first place but it was time to close the door on Grey Horse,” Ringhouse said, reflecting back on 2019 (the space has hosted two restaurants since).
“I was looking out for something to do again,” she added “And now I’m back!”
Top: People’s Pub bartenders Gabrielle Morin (L) and Andrew Cremer (R), with co-owner Linda Ringhouse, the former Grey Horse Tavern owner who’s partnered with Peter Cotter, one of the two co-founders of Blue Point Brewery. (Photos: Michael White)