The owner of Lobster Roll Northside and the shopping center anchored by the popular restaurant will be auctioning off the site to pursue another business venture.
Frederick Terry said the restaurant will close for the season in early December, as it has in years past, regardless of whether a new operator purchases the site at the auction, which is set for Nov. 15.
The fate of the current Lobster Roll Northside is in the hands of whoever buys the property, he said. “It will be up to the new tenant,” Mr. Terry said, adding that he thinks it will probably remain a restaurant.
Mr. Terry, who is credited in the American Dictionary of Food and Drink as the inventor of the lobster salad roll, is working on opening a number of gourmet seafood eateries around the region and across the country called Lobster Roll Express.
He envisions the eateries opening in malls, shopping centers, hotels and casinos, and he plans to start a mobile version of Lobster Roll Express as well.
“We’ve been inundated with requests to do this over the years,” said Mr. Terry, adding that he’s been discussing a possible partnership with iGambit, a public holding company.
The Lobster Roll Express menu would include seafood comfort foods like hot and cold lobster rolls, hand-cut potatoes, cole slaw and swellbellies, a fried fish dish Mr. Terry said he’s trademarked.
“I think you’ll see [Lobster Roll Express] pop up within the next year,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to completely disappear from the Riverhead area either.”
He said the new establishment would offer counter service instead of table service, and he plans to offer employment to his current staffers.
“It’s a personal choice for myself to move out a new concept,” he added. “The time is right and the marketplace is right for this kind of concept.”
Next month’s auction of the Baiting Hollow Commons shopping center will be held by Sheldon Good and Company.
The 1.75 acre site includes the restaurant, two renovated barns housing about 6,000 square feet of retail space and 80 parking spots, which will all be included in the auction.
Mr. Terry currently operates Gingerbread University, a company that runs gingerbread-decorating workshops, out of the property’s main barn. He’ll continue that set-up if the property’s new owner allows it.
He said his family’s other restaurant called the Lobster Roll in Amagansett will remain open as-is.