This iconic restaurant, featuring a tall ship facade in Port Jefferson, is preparing to set sail under a new captain.
The former Village Way, which shuttered its doors in 2015 at Chandler Square, has undergone a complete transformation into Castaways Steak & Seafood by Silver Lining Restaurant Group — and it’s poised to open its doors very soon.
The Suffolk-based restaurant group, also behind Drift 82 and Chops Steakhouse in Patchogue, says Castaways will be a fusion of both concepts, company founder John Sarno previously told Greater Long Island.
“It’s going to have the same cool, relaxed beach vibe as Drift , but we’ll also offer the same high-quality steaks that have made us No. 1 at Chops, along with top-notch seafood,” said Sarno, whose company also operates three Village Idiot pubs in Suffolk County.
So, patrons can anticipate plenty of seafood options, like Chilean sea bass, scallops and mahi mahi, alongside some of Chops’ best-selling cuts.
The eagerly awaited new restaurant is gearing up for a soft opening just ahead of Valentine’s Day, with a grand opening scheduled for Feb. 21.
Anticipation has been running high.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to is so excited to see us open,” said McKayla de la Pena, general manager at Castaways.
When the restaurant officially sets sail, it will mark a full-circle moment for assistant general manager Kathi Heggers, who spent two years working at the former Village Way. She said that the interior isn’t recognizable.
“You wouldn’t believe it’s the same place, except for the iconic boat,” she said. “This building is a landmark in Port Jefferson and neighboring towns. It’s just amazing to be part of it.”
Since getting the keys, the 2,900-square-foot space has undergone a complete overhaul, with comprehensive renovations that started this past summer.
“We have big visions for this place and the future of this town,” said Mario Tucci, another co-owner of Castaways.
Sarno revealed that initially, the restaurant will exclusively serve dinner, later expanding to include lunch and brunch menus. Additionally, they plan to introduce happy hour specials, live music, and DJs on the weekends.
“We want everyone to come down and see what we have to offer,” said Sarno.
Castaways will begin taking reservations via its website, starting on Friday, Feb. 9, for its opening.
Fun fact: Sarno chose the name Castaways after a Zac Brown Band song that he loves.
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Top: The Castaways team in front of their new restaurant. (L-R) Mike Krohn, John Sarno, Mario Tucci, McKayla de la Pena and Kathi Heggers. (GLI Photo/Nick Esposito)