The story behind the new Beach Bird chicken spot in Oyster Bay


This Beach Bird isn’t flying south.

The chicken-centric eatery — think chicken tenders, chicken n’ waffles and Southwest chicken salad — is among the newest dining options on the North Shore, setting up shop along Main Street in Oyster Bay.

“It’s right down the road from the high school, from the town hall,” said co-owner David Malinowski. “So far, the response has been overwhelming.”

Malinowski, who grew up in neighboring Bayville, admits that opening up a new chicken place requires some pluck, but he’s betting on Beach Bird becoming a hit during what he described as a “growth phase” for Oyster Bay’s food scene.

“You’ve got to take chances in life,” he said. “And I think this is a good gamble.”

How it happened

Beach Bird, opened with partner Michael Eisenberg, opened this month and is the latest stop in Malinowski’s long-running restaurant career.

He helped put himself through college by waiting on tables before rising into management with the Jekyll & Hyde restaurants in Manhattan. He also worked with Greenlawn-based Swallow Kitchen & Cocktails, the Liquiteria juice bar chain in Manhattan and as chief operating officer for Vitality Bowls Superfood Cafe.

But Malinoswki, 38, kept coming back to various twists on chicken tenders — and working from home during parts of the pandemic gave him the opening he needed while he and a cousin experimented in the kitchen.

“There was a lot of time to taste and test and eat good food,” he said. “We knew we had nailed it and that it went right to what we’re doing.”

About the food

In addition to chicken tenders, nuggets and wings, Beach Bird’s menu offers four variations of fried or grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, sides and a dozen sauces.

“Everything is made fresh, the chicken is brined for 24 hours,” Malinowski said. “We’re not skipping anything or taking any shortcuts.”

He said the bird sandwich — chicken with lettuce, tomato and pickles topped with a sweet corn aioli — is “something you don’t find anywhere else.”

Malinowski also touted the chicken n’ waffles, with eight nuggets, cinnamon sugar waffle bites and real maple syrup.

The 1,200-square-foot space has room for 16, with counter and booth seating and Malinowski said it’s a start.

“This is kind of what we always wanted to do,” he said.

If you go

Beach Bird is located at 19 East Main St in Oyster Bay and is open daily. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Photo: Beach Bird Cafe on Instagram

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