Toast Coffee + Kitchen, the beloved coffeehouse chain that has captured the hearts of Suffolk County residents, has officially opened its first location in Nassau County.
As of this week, on August 14, the newest Toast location has thrown open its doors in Long Beach at 20 W. Park Avenue.
Founder and owner of Toast, Terence Scarlatos, had long been contemplating the expansion of his coffeehouse empire beyond Suffolk County — which includes places in Port Jefferson, Patchogue and Bay Shore.
“So, I’ve been thinking about Nassau for some time,” he previously told Greater Long Island. “Then I thought, what better place than Long Beach? Much of Nassau comes down here during the summertime anyway.”
The journey to this opening was set into motion by Scarlatos’ friend, Rob Rothmann, a Long Beach local and project manager for other Toast locations. Rothmann alerted Scarlatos to an available space at 20 W. Park Avenue, and the wheels were set in motion. After scouting out the 6,000-square-foot location, a lease was signed earlier this year, setting the stage for the latest Toast adventure.
While the other Toast locations each boast their unique themes — Port Jefferson’s farmhouse, Patchogue’s steampunk, and Bay Shore’s vintage carnival — Long Beach’s theme pays homage to the roaring 20s, in honor of the building’s historic roots. Scroll down for photos.
(For the uninitiated, Toast only offers breakfast and lunch.)
For Scarlatos, the journey has been one of passion, inspired by his West Coast experiences in the 1990s. Traveling down the Pacific coastline, he was captivated by the coffeehouse culture that fostered connections and camaraderie
“I traveled for about nine years, I moved to Seattle and then traveled down the coast to Oregon, California, working in restaurants as a cook,” said Scarlatos, who now lives in Ronkonkoma. “One of the greatest things about these different places was the coffeehouses, where you could go and have breakfast and meet up with people.”
“Within a couple hours you could find out what was going on that night, what party to go to. It was just something I really took to,” he added.
The existing locations are exceptionally popular. It’s not atypical for people to wait up to 45 minutes midweek. Weekend waits will often top 90 minutes, though staffers suggest going to the Toast website to join the waitlist.
Scarlatos said he thought the crowds would taper off in Patchogue and Bay Shore after the initial buzz of a Toast opening. “But it just kept getting busier and busier,” he said.
“And that’s what I love,” he continued. “The low hum of everybody talking and getting along and meeting up and I feel really proud that we’re able to provide that for people.
“Just making sure everybody feels at home; we’re honored to be part of that.”
The below photos were posted by City of Long Beach, New York‘s Facebook.
Top: Exterior of the new Toast location, now open in Long Beach. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)