Renaissance bar and restaurant opening soon in Chandler Square in Port Jefferson

After the Village Way restaurant left Chandler Square, it created a vacuum that lasted seven long years. Now, Renaissance is finalizing plans to open in the space this fall, serving steaks and seafood with what owner Tom Fallicia calls Italian flair.

“I want it to be a place where people come back,” Fallicia told Greaterportjeff. “A lot of people are looking forward to it.”

The ship’s facade of the building will remain, with Fallicia carrying the design in the bar and dining areas, as part of a full renovation. The interior of the building has been stripped down to the posts. Among the big changes, a brand new kitchen.

“We just keep the floors,” Fallicia said.

The Village Way could accommodate 90 people inside and 60 outside, according to Fallicia, who is reducing those numbers a bit, in order to open the bar. Renaissance will accommodate 80 customers inside and 40 on its side patio.

Fallicia plans to host live music and a DJ from the ship’s elevated area, calling it the perfect stage. The bathrooms in the new restaurant will be upgraded to be ADA compliant.

Fallicia noted that a rising tide lifts all boats, so he spent time reaching out to other retailers to include local foods and drinks on his menu. He wants to carry a beer from the Port Jefferson Brewery on one of his taps and offer a special dessert menu that includes treats from Kilwins, Grand Marnier and Chambord.

He also coordinates the music schedule, so as not to conflict with the neighboring brewery’s concert series. Businesses coming together will make the village much more competitive.

“Part of the feeling is that Port Jefferson’s competition is Patchogue,” he said. “So it builds everyone.”

The menu isn’t quite ready to be revealed, but Fallicia said there will be separate dinner and bar menus. He would like the restaurant to be open from 11 a.m. to 1 or 2 a.m., with dinner being served from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Recently, Northwind Group purchased Chandler Square, and some of the changes made by the commercial real estate investor are already apparent.

“They’ve only been here three weeks and they’ve been really good,” Fallicia said. “They are doing what needs to be done. Many tenants are happy with the new owner.

The change comes at the right time, since Fallicia is renovating the interior. Northwind Group is already beautifying the exterior.

“I have a feeling we’re going to be the flagship of the place,” he said.

Fallicia did not direct her new restaurant to Port Jefferson in a straight line. He had to make a small detour before landing in the riverside village.

“The reality is I was going to invest in a little bar in Selden,” he said, noting that he had come across much higher rent than he was willing to pay for the area.

Thus, Fallicia sought a new location and settled in Port Jefferson. Maria Palmar, owner and broker at Maria Palmar Properties in Port Jefferson, was instrumental in bringing about the deal, he said.

“This place was theoretically more rented and suited my needs,” Fallicia said.

Fallicia comes to the village with a diverse background. He’s worked in his fair share of restaurants and bars, including the Country House and the Three Village Inn in Stony Brook.

“I can jump behind the bar and mix drinks, and if I had to jump behind the grill, I can do it,” he said.

Fallicia has three strict rules for cooking that he learned from his old bosses.

“You keep it spotless, don’t send anything you wouldn’t eat yourself, and safety first,” he said.

Its opening time depends on many factors, but it believes it will open within three months.

“We are making good progress,” he said. “We’re really trying to do it in half.”

As for the name, Fallicia said it had two meanings. First of all, Renaissance is the name of his favorite progressive rock band from the 1970s. The name also refers to the rebirth of the space as a restaurant after being there for such a long time.

“I think I have one of the best spots on Long Island,” he said.

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