Goody Two Shoes Now Open in Bay Shore – Offering Old Standards and Creative New Flavors Side-by-Side

T J Finley’s in Bay Shore was transformed by its owner into Goody Two Shoes to keep evolving with the times and offer more creative plates in the bar scene. 

About six months ago Drew Dvorkin drove up to TJ Finley’s, his restaurant of 17 years on Main Street in Bay Shore, and he felt deflated.

“This is the honest to God truth,” he said. “I was overcome and everything in my body told me to go home.”

For a man who is a serial entrepreneurial restaurateur – he has spent decades in the restaurant business and is a partner in more than a dozen restaurants across Long Island and New York City – this was not a moment he took lightly.

“I was always back and forth between should we change or should we not,” Dvorkin said, sitting at the bar surrounded by the final result of that change. “That day it was the final decision. I said, ‘that’s it, we have to change,’ because I was so uninspired.”

Change he did. Everything – except the bar – was torn out and replaced. He went from a self described “beer, shot and wings joint” to something transformative for his patrons and for Bay Shore itself, which he also saw changing around him with thousands of new apartments coming online and a village that seemed to be getting more pep in its step.

Co-owner Drew Dvorkin at the bar in Goody Two Shoes.

Things were changing around TJ Finley’s and it was time for TJ Finley’s to change. The name went first, which wasn’t easy since it was originally a portmanteau of sorts of Dvorkin’s daughter’s name and his partner, Mike McElwee Jr’s, son’s name. They renamed the place Goody Two Shoes and then went about changing everything else from the decor to the menu.

“It was a complete aesthetic renovation,” Dvorkin said.

The interior has a classy old-timey vibe combined with gilded age meets steampunk details everywhere you look. Like a retro bistro supper club. There are machines that spin to shake up drinks, a board that clicks and clacks like an old train sign and a rotating logo light on the back wall. All with that retro feel but with a distinctly modern touch.

The main dining area has hightop tables and booth seating with tables and chairs including a few intimate spots and space for bigger parties. And there is still plenty of room at the bar. There is also a back room with fireplace that will serve as a small event space and an outside patio out back. Leading to the back room is a hallway with more hightop tables.

Dvorkin even planned out the sounds of the place. The changing sign with its clacking tiles that will spell out quips, quotes and curiosities is meant to pull people out of the usual sounds of a restaurant and hopefully spark a conversation.

The menu also leans more to the eclectic with creative new flavors next to old standards.

“We tried to elevate the cuisine while still making it approachable,” he said. “It’s a mixture of comfort food, street food and certain pub classics.”

You can get a burger like the Double Smash, twin smashburgers, onions, pickles and American cheese or the Steakhouse, bacon, cheddar and onion haystack. They also have salads like their classic cobb or the chopped.

“We still have amazing burgers,” he said. “And our wings.”

But there are options for the foodie explorer too. They have the wings but they added a little spice to the usual selection. The Piri-Piri wings, Dvorkin says, are a popular choice with African hot pepper sauce (it’s super spicy the menu warns). The app selection includes a jalapeno potato pancake and what Dvorkin points out as one his most popular items so far: pupusas, thick griddle cake from Central America.

“The number one selling item is our pupusas,” he said. “The number one selling item at TJ Finley was chicken quesadilla – you can get quesadilla anywhere.”

You’re probably not going to find pupusas on your typical bar menu.

The drink menu runs the gamut as well. There’s a selection of beers, wine, martinis, spritzes and specialty cocktails.

After he had his “friends and family opening” this week, Dvorkin says people are taking to the items that he hoped that they would.

“Sometimes my vision doesn’t translate but so far it has,” he said. “People’s tastes have changed and their willingness to try new things has evolved. I find it empowering. It makes us exciting.”

The new name, Goody Two Shoes, also reflects Dvorkin’s attitude not only about what he does in his new restaurant but the world outside his doors.

“Out of context, I think there’s kind of a question mark,” he said but he explained that the name goes right along with the tagline, which is “vice and vittles.”

“A goody two shoes is a concrete and boxy straight laced person,” he said. “It’s about the irony of being called a goody two shoes along with our tagline, vice and vittles. You can be a goody two shoes out there but when you walk in here you can be different.”

Just like the menu, there’s room for the straight laced taste and there is room for the more creative types side-by-side.

“Come in here, eat what you want, drink what you want and don’t worry about what anyone says out there,” he said. “This is a haven for independent thought.”

It’s also, Dvorkin said, about making people smile.

“Our job is to be a facilitator of good times so when you leave here, you’re in a better mood than when you walked in,” he said. “That’s Goody Two Shoes in a nutshell.”

Location: 42 East Main Street, Bay Shore, (631) 647-4856.

Scroll down for photos of the new Goody Two Shoes.

The new Goody Two Shoes (the old TJ Finley’s) at 42 East Main Street, Bay Shore.

The bar area of Goody Two Shoes.

Dining area with high top tables at Goody Two Shoes.

Goody Two Shoes food menu.

Goody Two Shoes drink menu.

Goody Two Shoes back room.

Goody Two Shoes outside seating.

Goody Two Shoes – more seating.

The clacking board.

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