Roberta’s, a popular Brooklyn eatery known for its wood-fired pizzas, is heading east — but not just for the summer.
Co-owner Brandon Hoy told Behind The Hedges that he is hoping Roberta’s can maintain a year-round presence in Montauk, where he and his partner, Carlo Mirarchi, just bought the Old Harbor House. “We’ve been looking for quite some time,” says Hoy, who has a house in Springs. “This opportunity was so amazing. We really couldn’t pass it up.”
The restaurant was most recently home to the Arbor, owned by Marc Rowan, the billionaire co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management and who also owns the nearby Duryea’s Lobster Deck. Behind The Hedges previously reported that the restaurant at 240 Fort Pond Road sold for $3 million in an off-market deal in January. Hal Zwick and Jeffrey Sztorc of Compass Commercial put together the deal.
“It has such a rich history — just remembering it as the Blue Marlin — the location itself is pretty iconic, you know?” says Hoy.
The 5,400-square-foot space, which seats at least 125 people with 40 more seats on the outside patio, where there is a second bar, was renovated in 2016 before Arbor opened and there is not much work to be done. “They did a really nice job. To be honest with you, it’s a little too nice for a Roberta’s.”
After all, Roberta’s home in Brooklyn, which first opened on Moore Street in Bushwick in 2008, is in a converted warehouse with graffiti art on the outside walls and an equally laid-back vibe inside. It has since opened other outposts, including in Culver City in Los Angeles and a second California location is soon opening in Studio City.
“I think some of the pillars that we operate off of are just, one, really high-quality food and we really care a lot about the food that we put out and the ingredients we use. Then two, I think we’re a value place. I think for what you get, we’re really reasonably priced and then I think the biggest thing for us — for all of the places — we try to make fun. The experience for us is a place that pretty much everybody can come and enjoy. . . Not to sound like some weird Cheers cliche, but just a place where everyone knows your name.”
Hoy hopes Roberta’s Montauk will open by Memorial Day weekend. A general manager is already in place and next is the hunt for staff.
“Montauk is a really good fit. I think we fit in both the worlds that exist out there — the everyday local people I think can really enjoy it and the people that are coming seasonal can enjoy it. Hopefully, we can cast a large net. Throughout the years of Roberta’s, it’s always something we’ve been really good at doing, which is just like kind of being a very inclusive experience.”
Forty more seats are approved for the outside patio, where there is a second bar. The second floor has space for an office/staff headquarters.
“We’re not looking at it as just the seasonal, pop-up,” Hoy says. It’s, hopefully, something, that we can sustain all year round.”