First Look: We Toured Castaways in Port Jefferson, Opening Monday February 12th

Castaways is opening its doors soon and we got a peek inside as they put up the finishing touches. Vacant for more than eight years, people who passed by kept stopping to excitedly ask workers if they were opened up yet. The unofficial date is Monday February 12th at Noon. Castaways will open for Valentine’s Day week and the weekend of Saturday, February 17th and Sunday, February 18th with an abbreviated Valentine’s Day week menu. Then they will close on President’s Day and Tuesday, February 20th but will reopen for their grand opening on Wednesday, February 21st.

“We’ll be back then,” one woman said as she strolled by with her husband.

For those of you who remember the old Village Way, the new owners have tried to keep the spirit of its former self but with a complete refresh, brightening up the colors, light wood planking on the wall, white-washing the bricks, and opening up a wall to let in more sunlight. The theme is definitely nautical with teal mermaids, brass octopus chandeliers, ropes, wheels, diving helmets, and galvanized lighting. They preserved the fireplace and even brought back a former Village Way staff member. Kathi Heggers, who managed the Village Way in 1999, will serve as assistant manager of Castaways.

“So full circle,” joked the current restaurant manager, McKayla de la Pena.

A transplant from North Carolina, de la Pena had worked with owner John Sarno at Chops, one of his other Long Island restaurants.

“They brought me back to manage Castaways,” she said.

They also used as much space as possible. With no cellar in the building they constructed a small wine room near the entrance, dressing it up with a swinging door made of bars with a giant old-fashioned padlock like a brig.

The back of the boat seating is still there, raised up above the bar area. It was set up as a lounge but that might change to regular seating later on, said de la Pena.

The dinner menu features plenty of seafood. Appetizers include oysters Rockefeller, calamari and mussels, as well as New Zealand baby lamb chops. They’ve got a lobster bisque soup, a seafood chowder and a grilled octopus. Their seafood entrees include king salmon, scallops, seafood fra diavolo and mahi mahi. From the land, they have a variety of steaks, pork chops and chicken entrees. There is a full raw bar as well.  The cocktail menu will be tiki-inspired, with lots of rum options.

Castaways Port Jefferson Menu

The dinner menu at Castaways in Port Jefferson.

Castaways Port Jefferson Cocktail Menu

The cocktail menu at Castaways in Port Jefferson.

Soon they will be featuring live acoustic singers on Friday and Saturday nights.

In total the restaurant will be able to accommodate 77 people including the bar area. Owner John Sarno expects to be able to extend that in the warmer months with an additional 60 people on the outside patio.

Watch the video below to get a peek inside and then scroll down to get more of a sneak peek at the new Castaways opening Monday, February 12th at 106 Main Street in Port Jefferson.


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