Change is on the horizon at the Port Jefferson Country Club.
After a 15-year partnership with property owner Port Jefferson Village, Lombardi’s on the Sound is no more. The family-owned catering business with other locations in Holbrook and Patchogue will no longer serve as the proprietor of the hall located on the golf course on the shores of the Long Island Sound.
The village board unanimously passed a resolution at its March 5 meeting approving the transfer of the catering license at the facility from Lombardi’s Caterers to The Crest Group LLC, a Port Jefferson Station-based real estate group, effective immediately. Crest’s hospitality division also includes Danfords Hotel & Marina, a longtime staple in Port Jefferson Village. The country club catering hall will be rebranded as The
Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club and is set to reopen in early April, according to Christina Whitehurst, director of sales and marketing at Danfords.
“It was time for a change for both them and us, but I can’t speak for what changed for them as far as their business plan,” village Mayor Margot Garant said. “Lombardi’s sold their business — bulk sale. We simply had to approve the new vendor to assign the agreement. We felt Danfords knows the village and would prove to be a good working partner, treating both our members and residents as VIP clientele.”
Garant said village personnel are meeting with Danfords staff throughout March to coordinate plans, names, menus and events.
“We will make a joint announcement on all when everything is ready to launch,” Garant said. “We are excited to reclaim our country club.”
The mayor added that the menu at the rebranded hall is “to be announced,” but to expect it will be compatible with a country club setting.
Guy Lombardi, one of the business owners who also oversees the kitchens at Lombardi’s various locations, said they made the decision because they wanted to focus more on their other locations, adding that he expected Danfords would do a great job with the location.
“I loved that place,” he said of Lombardi’s on the Sound. “I loved to go there. The mayor does a great job there. It was just time to move on. It was a great run. We’re going to miss the people.”
“We would like to express our most sincere gratitude and appreciation for allowing Lombardi’s on the Sound to provide you the exemplary food, service and catering experience during our 15 years at the Port Jefferson Country Club,” the company said in a statement on the Lombardi’s on the Sound website.
Whitehurst said in a phone interview Danfords would welcome back employees who had jobs at the country club catering hall, and also indicated those who had previously made reservations for events at the country club should get in touch.
“We care about our reputation and how we do business and how we treat our guests and the level of service we deliver, so no matter what it is, we’re not going in there like we’re in and out,” Whitehurst said when asked about duration of the contract. “We want to continue to have the same track record like we have at Danfords.”
Five years remain on the 20-year lease being assumed by Crest, according to the village.