New year, same Pete’s
As of the November 2017 Bellport Village board meeting, Peter’s on the Green will continue to operate at the Bellport Country Club as per their new 10-year licensing agreement in 2018.
The licensing agreement, Mayor Ray Fell said, came after the original four-year lease expired and has been well received. Technically, the contract is a licensing agreement rather than a lease, being that the facility is on parkland and state law requires so, he said.
“They came in and made it work,” he said. “They have been doing very well.”
After four years, the restaurant closed for the season in December and anticipates returning by the end of this month for their fifth consecutive season. Typically, chef-owner Gus Mokkas said, they open up for the season by the end of March, but this year they decided to remain open for the community after a brief break for time off and upkeep.
The renewed agreement, he said, is something he is looking forward to. About four years ago, village officials approached Mokkas and his father Nick, owner of Peter’s Luncheonette in Patchogue, to run the restaurant, which had been suffering. After a one-year trial run, both he and the village were on board for another three-year lease. And now, he said, he is ready for the ultimate — 10-year — commitment.
“Four years ago, I didn’t even know where this was. Me and my father took a look at it and at the time it was snowing and beautiful,” he said. “And I thought, if it looks this great now, I can’t imagine when it’s nice out.” And so it began.
Now living in Holtsville with his wife and 8-year-old son, they await the arrival of their second in January. Mokkas, 34, grew up working at his dad’s restaurant since the age of 10, graduated from high school in 2001 and went on to culinary school at the American Institute of Technology.
Since then, he has replicated the atmosphere of his father’s Peter’s Luncheonette staple with his own creative twists, serving dinner twice a week and breakfast and lunch daily. The menu includes traditional recipes including wraps, salads and paninis, as well as his blackboard specials.
The restaurant employs five full-timers and a few more part-time college kids during the busy summer season, which can see about 200-300 patrons during one breakfast.
Though located on the country club grounds, they are open to the public and his sign reads, “Everyone is welcome.”
“We do get a lot of golfers, but we have had a tremendous reach. The members have accepted us and we seem to be liked by the community as well,” he said. Looking ahead, he said, he plans to continue the success of what he has been doing while also keeping it fresh with exciting menu changes. “We want to thank the community and village for supporting us for the past four years and look forward to many more years to come,” he added.
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