You’ll have to dress the part at Chops steakhouse, opening in February


The owners of Chops want to take you back.

And not just back to the post-Prohibition era that sets the tone for this high-end, classic steakhouse in Patchogue.

But back to a time when people took great pride in their appearance.

Back to when people worked hard and were proud of it, proud they could even afford a special night out at a place like Chops, a place where you can drop some dough on your sweetheart by ordering up dry-aged porterhouses, filets or tomahawk steaks, classic cocktails or a rare bottle of wine.

Work began at the steakhouse located at 38 West Main Street last fall and the owners expect to open before Valentine’s Day.

“It turned out even better than I imagined,” said co-owner John Sarno. “When you come here you’re going to pay for the experience, the ambiance, you’re going to be well-dressed. And when you leave, you’re going to say that was the best meal I ever had in my life.”

The ownership team also includes Luis Juarez, executive chef at Sarno’s Drift 82 on Patchogue River, and Edwin Hernandez, who heads the kitchen at Village Idiot Pub, also owned by Sarno.

Both men have cooked at top steakhouses and other restaurants across NYC and Long Island.

Keeping an eye on the front of the house will be Sarno’s beloved GM at Drift 82, Fred Norden, also the chief uniform inspector for the staffers, who will don vintage-style barkeep and waiter and waitress outfits.

“These are the guys,” Sarno said, the Dream Team. “I don’t do it alone. They’re the reason for my success.”

Now they’re at it together as owners.

“When you walk through the door you be like wow, just look at this place,” Norden said. “It’s that first impression, and from there we offer good service and good food, the full service. These are the guys; they are the best.”

But the idea is “simple,” said Juarez, who, with Hernandez, will be overseeing quality control in the kitchen.

“This is going to be an [old steakhouse] experience, something that is hard to find on Long Island,” where customers can see the cuts of meat before they’re even cooked, he said. Everything will be a’la carte.

“John is the best guy I’ve ever worked with,” added Hernandez. “I’m just very grateful for this opportunity.”

For Sarno’s part, he’s confident.

“Expectations will be high,” he says. “I expect them to nail it.”

Get a quick glimpse of Chops steakhouse, still in the works, below. (Satin Widrow photos)

Top: Chops owners Fred Norden, Edwin Hernandez, Luis Juarez and John Sarno behind the bar.

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