The restaurant B. Smith's, which has occupied a prominent position on Long Wharf, Sag Harbor since 1997, closes every winter, but will not reopen this spring as its website indicates. Instead, Richie Notar, the restaurateur who transitioned from his role as managing partner at Nobu two years ago to helm several new ventures, has taken over the waterfront space, which he tells Grub Street will reopen in May as an East End outpost of his Lombardy Hotel restaurant Harlow.
Apart from the new Sag Harbor address, Notar is expected to open a restaurant-club in Harlem in the former Lenox Lounge space, as well as a project with New Orleans baker Dwight Henry called Mr. Henry's in the adjacent space. The main venue, which is rumored to be called Notar Jazz Lounge, is expected to open first, with the bakery debuting this fall.
Barbara B. Smith, the author, restaurateur, and model whose businesses include a line of olive oils and an array of homewares, closed her 20-year-old Washington D.C. restaurant in 2013. Her 175-seat Manhattan B. Smith's has been an integral part of Restaurant Row for almost 28 years.
In terms of a timeline, Notar hopes to unveil the new Harlow, which he says will sport nautical decor, by Mother's Day. "There aren't a lot of fun places where you get a water view,'' he says, confirming the lease was signed Friday. Plans include many of the same elements found in Manhattan, such as its oyster bar. Perhaps Will Ferrell will even stop by for ice cream and to sing some Swedish sailor songs.
Notar explains the restaurant will also have a distinctly lower-key East End vibe. "We have great relationships with Long Island fishermen and farmers, and will focus on local ingredients as well as serving local wine," Notar says. "I want to be open all through the day, so people can come and have a casual breakfast and read the papers in the morning.''