The “It’s Finally Happening” sign that’s been in the window at The Greenery is no longer needed.
The salads-and-bowls spot on Railroad Avenue in Sayville at last welcomed diners last week — nearly three years after its planned opening in early 2021 had to be put on ice.
“Everything backed up because of COVID — it seemed like plans and permitting took forever,” said James Caporuscio, 42, one of three longtime pals who own the eatery. “Oh man, it was frustrating.”
The Greenery is the latest dining venture for Caporuscio, whose team also operates Café Joelle on Main Street. And it’s a concept that he says had his attention since he was a kid growing up in the hamlet.
He fondly recalled childhood visits with his mother to a Sayville spot where healthy meals were prepared in front of customers.
“I was a picky eater at the time and it was neat to put in what I wanted and to have it chopped right in front of you,” he said. “Growing up in this town, I knew there was a need where you could get something really healthy and really quick, where it’s made fresh and in front of you.”
Caporuscio and partners Kyle Kenny and Jake Byrne now have just that — in a fast-casual spot that seats 16 and focuses on local ingredients to offer what Caporuscio calls a “clean, healthy product.”
The namesake “Greenery” salad features grilled shrimp, kale, hemp seeds, sliced avocado, sprouts and a “greenery goddess” dressing made in-house.
The nine salad options include a dijon salmon salad, as well as a street corn salad built with blackened chicken, jalapeño peppers, black beans, chopped green and red peppers, romaine lettuce, avocado and lime.
There are seven signature bowls on the menu at The Greenery — including a burrito bowl, a poke bowl and a tofu bowl — and customers are welcome to build their own bowls and salads.
Caporuscio said his goal is to be “kind of tech-driven,” with orders placed online and via delivery apps so customers can simply drop in and grab their meals off a shelf.
“We’re just happy to be available to provide another opportunity for the community to dine,” he said.
It’s familiar territory for someone who in 2018 took over Café Joelle, a Main Street mainstay for decades.
“Luckily, they’re close enough together,” Caporuscio said. “The plan is to be all-encompassing, to be here and be there.”
In addition to finally opening the type of place he had long envisioned, Caporuscio will be alongside someone who he has known for decades. Co-owner Kyle Kenny was a classmate at Lincoln Avenue Elementary School.
And after the project ran into delays, Caporuscio said he is thrilled that The Greenery has finally arrived.
“I believe in positive affirmation and willing something into fruition,” he said. “And we did it.”
Top photo: GLI photo by Michael White.