How popular was East Patchogue’s Pine Grove Inn in the 1960s and 1970s?
We’ll allow a local historian, Steve Lucas, to tell us:
“This was the place to go,” said Lucas, “especially if you were having an affair. There might have been one or two other places.”
So what were those other places?
“I really can’t think of any other place, because this really was where everybody got together,” he said.
Wednesday night marked a get together of a different kind for the Pine Grove Inn, which is nestled within a residential neighborhood just south of South Country Road on the banks of the Swan River.
This was the night to celebrate its grand re-opening after it had been abandoned and then got flooded out during Sandy in October 2012.
It remained empty in the years that followed.
In step Michael Goberdhan of Manhattan, who purchased the property in December 2015 and began shoring up the building, which was built around 1910 as an actual inn, with 14 boarding rooms on the second floor.
“A lot of hard work went into this. It was closed for 4 1/2 years. It was damaged badly,” Goberdhan told friends and well-wishers Wednesday night. “But we take great pride in how we restructured this whole thing to bring it back to the community.”
The Pine Grove also got an assist from county Legislator Rob Calarco of Patchogue, who had explained to greaterpatchogue.com in May that the restaurant was going to lose a drastic amount of available seating under current health department guidelines.
Since it was closed for so long, the property and building lost some grandfather status, but under new regulations the seating would have been set so low that running a restaurant would have been impossible.
“I had to do some heavy lifting with this one … but we got the health department to see that we need to make sure that our folks that want to invest in our communities can, and reopen businesses,” Calarco said. “Because if we didn’t accommodate him, we’d have an empty building here, and that wouldn’t serve anyone well.”
Going back 30, 40 years ago once again — when the Pine Grove Inn was a regional favorite for fine dining and German food — Lucas said there were no nice restaurants in downtown Patchogue, where all you would find is retail shops and luncheonettes.
And he was pleased to see the wood decor that he remembered was still in place. It close to the same way it looked at Lucas’s 50th birthday party.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I love that they kept that old-time feel to the place. It really does look good. They kept it, but scrubbed it up nice.”
Top Photo: Michael Goberdhan (middle, holding scissors) during Wednesday night’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Pine Grove Inn. (Credit: Benny Migliorino/Benny Migs Photo)