The family behind Curry Club, Velvet Lounge taking over old Schafer’s spot


The family behind some of the North Shore’s most well-known spots in dining is now heading to the harborfront in Port Jefferson.

Indu Kaur, the director of operations at the family’s Meadow Club catering hall in Port Jefferson Station, said the restaurateurs are planning to take over the Harbor Grill, formerly Schafer’s, at 111 West Broadway.

Things got set in motion during the holiday season, she told GreaterPortJeff, when Kaur began renting the building to host her own events.

“My clients started to like the ambience here for smaller parties,” she said.

She liked the two-story restaurant — which boasts outdoor upstairs dining overlooking the harbor — so much that she started to do some investigating.

“I said to my father, ‘Let’s see what’s going on,” she said of the old Schafer’s, which was rebranded as Harbor Grill in October 2018. “What’s the story behind it?’”

Her father, who also owns The Curry Club in East Setauket, as well as Velvet Lounge, was on board.

He began communicating with Harbor Grill owner Tom Schafer.

“They’re going to decide if they can close [the restaurant] this week,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful location — so I’ve been brainstorming what can I bring that is new, something different and something exotic.”

Kaur is hoping to have the family’s new restaurant ready within three to four weeks.

She has already hired a chef from Connecticut and a team to start working on the new menu, and a designer to give the space a facelift.

There’s a wide menu planned for the new, unnamed restaurant — different than anything Port Jefferson has seen, she said.

“We’re going to bring something different, something to spice it up a little,” she said.

So far, the concept will be Indian cuisine, but with a mixed menu similar to what the family has offered for events at The Meadow Club, which, by the way, is expected to re-open this May after a devastating fire in 2018.

“We’re going to have a menu people can afford and a buffet so customers can visually see what the food looks like,” she added. “Then if they want to do à la carte for dinner, they can do that as well.”

With Northern and Southern Indian dishes, Kaur is especially excited to start putting together an Indian-fusion bar menu on the upper level.

“Hopefully customers will be attracted here, because it’ll be an exotic menu that no one has here or in Bridgeport,” she said. “It’ll be good for the town and good for the village.”

The main thing they want to bring is a family mindset to the water.

“We treat all our customers like family and we’re excited to be in this village,” she said. “Hopefully the village welcomes us and enjoys what we have to offer.”

Valentine’s Day event:

Kaur said that on Feb. 14, the family will be hosting a four-course Valentine’s Day dinner at Harbor Grill building — despite the restaurant otherwise being closed — complete with a bottle of champagne for the tables, as well as a romantic atmosphere. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 631-928-3800.

Above: Indu Kaur outside the Harbor Grill in Port Jefferson (Credit: Julianne Mosher)