The Lighthouse Waterfront Café—formerly The Boathouse Waterside Café—has undergone big changes in the past couple of months and is now operating under a new name and new ownership. Brothers Jerry and Mark Murray, originally of Glen Cove, bought the restaurant in the spring and overhauled the staff, menu and facade to bring high quality fare to boaters and locals alike.
“We want this to be a place where fishermen and stockbrokers can belly up side by side and have a good meal,” said Mark.
“We looked to improve the food significantly and we’ve done a whole facelift on the place,” said Jerry, who was a regular customer of The Boathouse and jumped at the opportunity to take it over when he heard it was available.
“We’ve never done this before, but it’s in our family, it’s in our blood,” said Mark. “We’re very aware of the high failure rate of these things, but we’re coming into it very seriously.”
The family tradition of fine dining is strong among the Murray family, who owned Lauraine Murphy Restaurant in Manhasset, The George Washington Manor in Roslyn and The Milleridge Inn of Jericho. The desserts for the new cafe are supplied by the Milleridge Inn bakery.
Jerry, who lives in Roslyn Harbor and is currently a prevailing wage investigator for New York State, worked in a restaurant in Cozumel where he learned classic French and Mexican cuisine and said he looks to incorporate his experience in the new restaurant. Though Mark noted the bulk of their personal restaurant experience comes from a consumer’s standpoint.
“Our expertise comes in the consumption of fine food and liquor,” Mark said, an attorney with general practice in Suffolk County. “We set it up as the kind of place that we would like to hang out and our friends would like to hang out.”
In addition to enjoying quality food, the brothers are both boaters and have high praise for the Brewer Yacht Yard, which supplies the restaurant with six guest slips. Plus, they both believe in the revitalization of Glen Cove’s waterfront and are excited to be a part of that.
“If we can keep the standards of quality exemplified by our neighbors, Brewers Marina, we will be extremely happy,” said Jerry.
The brothers plan on providing quality food, but keeping their prices affordable.
“Most people who own waterfront restaurants want a top shelf place where they can charge top dollar, and that’s not us,” said Mark. “We want it to appeal to casual diners.”
Both men are big on supporting community events and not-for-profits and hope to make their restaurant a “hub” for charitable events.
Todd Janelli is staying on as manager of the restaurant, a person who both brothers stressed as being a “key part” of the restaurant’s operation. Janelli, of Sea Cliff, joined the restaurant last year.
“We’re very proud of our service and our product,” said Janelli. “We wish more locals would come see us. We may be located within Brewer’s Marina, with a fence around it, but we are open to the public.”
Also on staff is Chef Daniel Echeverria of Glen Cove, who has had 20 years of experience in the kitchen, including venues like Costello’s, JD Gates and Gallaghers. The menu includes lobster and clambake specials, classic casual fare and lighter fare, including gluten-free and dairy-free.
With an outdoor bar and tables that can seat a total of 48, it’s a great place to sit outdoors; one of the few waterfront dining venues in the area. They’ve installed misting fans to keep customers cool and fire pits to keep them warm on chilly nights.
They will have live music every Friday night and a jazz quartet for Sunday brunch and anticipate keeping the restaurant open year-round. And with Shore Thing Rentals next door, people can spend the day out on the water and then come in for a meal.