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Indu Kaur

Despite the chiseled blocks of ice stationed around the village, downtown Port Jefferson was red hot last weekend during the 4th annual Port Jefferson Ice Festival, hosted by the village’s Business Improvement District.

This two-day celebration took place on Jan. 28 and 29, bringing together several local institutions, dozens of small businesses and a whole lot of ice. Roger Rutherford, Port Jefferson BID president and general manager of Roger’s Frigate, summarized the boost the festival brought to storefronts.

“This is the slowest time of the year for the business community,” he said. “This is our fourth annual, and it has really taken off and turned into something spectacular.”

Making the festivities possible required significant organizational collaboration between the BID and its partners. The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce assisted by facilitating a mac ’n’ cheese crawl. 

With 12 participating restaurants, the crawl offered festivalgoers a chance to taste various cuisines from food establishments around the village. 

“This is the second year they asked us to be the administrators for the mac ’n’ cheese crawl,” said chamber executive director Barbara Ransome. “They go to 12 places. It’s four ounces of mac ’n’ cheese [per stop], so you’re talking three pounds [in all].” She added, “It’s a lot of mac ’n’ cheese.”

Thousands flocked to the village to partake in the fun, including trustee Stan Loucks who projected the weekend as one of the highest local turnouts on record.

“I have never seen so many people in our village,” he said. “The merchants were extremely happy with the crowd. They did very well this weekend, and I think it was terrific to see that many people walking around our village.”

James Luciano, owner of PJ Lobster House, reacted to the festival’s success in stimulating small businesses.

“This festival brings in a lot of business for us,” he said. “This time of year, you’re lucky to get a couple of tables for lunch and a couple of bar customers.” But, he added, “We’ve been full since we opened the door.”

Meltdown

‘The businesses were thriving, the restaurants were full.’

— Kathianne Snaden

The sizable show gave much-needed relief to storefront owners still recovering from the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost three years ago, the world and nation were shocked by the outbreak of the pandemic, leaving downtowns such as Port Jeff’s in disarray.

Indu Kaur is the owner of the Curry Club at SāGhar in Port Jefferson, an establishment that opened in February 2020, just weeks before the lockdowns. 

“We took over the business and had no idea that we were going to be shut down,” Kaur said, describing the impact of the pandemic on her business as “a huge tragedy.”

In the face of hardship, Kaur and her staff continued operations by donating meals, then reopened in the fall of that year. With a historic turnout villagewide, Kaur regarded the resurgence of the downtown businesses with delight.

“It’s so exciting to see everyone walking around, enjoying our village, enjoying the new restaurants, the new shows and our ice sculptures,” she said.

Outside Kaur’s restaurant lay a decorative ice sculpture depicting Ganesha, a Hindu deity tying into the theme of local renaissance. “Lord Ganesha is the statue that we all have faith brings prosperity, happiness and peace,” she said.

Icebreaker

Ganesha was just one of a few dozen ice sculptures displayed throughout the village. Many visitors stood and posed with the ice, which was often interactive. Some sculptures depicted animals, others tied in with the businesses for which they were custom made. 

Rich Daly, president and owner of Ice Memories, has created sculptures during each of the festival’s four iterations. He discussed the considerable effort and material that made it all possible.

“We do live carvings and have about 90,000 pounds worth of ice set up throughout town,” supplied by Riverhead-based Long Island Ice, Daly said. “Every year, we add more ice and more activities for everybody to do.”

Daly got interested in ice sculpting during culinary school, where he first received an ice carving assignment. “Once they put a chainsaw in my hands, I just never let it go,” he said.

Given how a sculpture shapeshifts and reforms during the different melting stages, the temporality and mutability of the ice medium offer both challenge and opportunity for creative expression.

“It’s a temporary art form, which makes it unique,” Daly said. “Especially on a day like today or a weekend like this, Mother Nature just doesn’t want the ice to be around,” adding, “As it melts, it just kind of changes and transforms, and it’s pretty cool.”

Daly said the process is relatively straightforward for those interested in carving ice. Blocks of ice, he said, can be acquired at most ice plants on Long Island. “It doesn’t take a crazy amount of money to buy tools,” he said. “Just have at it. Start [carving] whatever inspires you.”

Tip of the iceberg

Spring-like temperatures and melting points played a prominent role throughout the festival, with some environmentalists ringing the alarm about the threat of climate change. 

Posted along Main, a small group of protesters lined the sidewalks with signs that read: “There is no planet ‘B’” and “Be nice, save the ice.” Holly Fils-Aime, president of the local environmental group EcoLeague, discussed how the melting sculptures signal a dangerous trend. 

“The fact that these sculptures didn’t last the day because it’s so warm out here in January is a great teaching device,” Fils-Aime said.

Picketing alongside Fils-Aime was village resident Myrna Gordon, who stressed the importance of local government in identifying environmental problems and implementing science-based solutions. 

“In my own village here in Port Jefferson, I think that a lot more has to be done with environmental issues,” she said. “Having an ice festival is wonderful — bringing people to the village, helping the businesses. But we also need to focus on very, very serious issues that are happening here.”

Frozen in time

Through the ice fest, scores of people interacted with the various facets of the community. While there wasn’t an ice sculpture outside the Bayles Boat Shop, boat builders continued their work on the Resolution whaleboat project. 

“We’re in the finalizing stages of lofting,” said John Janicek, treasurer of the boat shop. After that, the buildout of the keel and stem can commence.

As the whaleboat enters a pivotal moment in its buildout process, the village is undergoing a transition of its own, moving into the post-pandemic era. With downtown thriving once again, Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden gave her thoughts on these positive developments.

“It was incredible to see so many people enjoy the village this time of year,” she said. “The businesses were thriving, the restaurants were full. There were shoppers and diners, and it was great to see the comeback.”

Pixabay photo

Save the date! The Meadow Club, 1147 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station will be hosting the 7th Annual United Nations Day of Yoga on June 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is open to all and will include a variety of yoga classes for all ages and levels, meditation sessions, vendors and more. 

This event is being sponsored by Indu Kaur, Director of The Meadow Club; Jas Singh, founder of ReflectandRespond; Sharmila Nigam, founder of One Love Generation; and Marcy Guzman of The Healing Center at Port Jeff Salt Cave, along with 14 holistic teachers and volunteers.  

Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Director of the Staller Center Alan Inkles, and President of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Dzvonar, to name a few, will be in attendance for the candle lighting ceremony to start the morning program. 

A vision of Indu Kaur, owner of The Meadow Club, the event is intended to promote harmony, world peace, health and wellness through the various practices of yoga and holistic modalities.

Event speakers include Dr. N who is Board certified Doctor of Integrative Medicine, Alternative Medicine and Doctor of Humanitarian services with PhD graduated from International Quantum University of Integrative Medicine; and Meditation teacher Bhante Kottave Nanda from Long Island Meditation Center. 

Attendees will be able to learn and practice various forms of yoga such as Hatha, Chair, Kundalini, Restorative, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga Nidra and more from local instructors of Yoga, Pranayama breathing, Ayurveda, Holistic health lifestyle, meditation, Reiki, financial wellbeing and more.

In addition, a delicious vegan vegetarian buffet will be available for a nominal fee along with raffle of baskets valued at $200+ to support this fully volunteered sponsored event and raise awareness of peace with yoga, love, and light. Bring your own yoga mats or mats will be available for purchase.

The event is FREE and open to the public. RSVP requested by calling 631-828-4818.

On April 26, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich attended the 22nd annual Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition (BCCC) Awards Night at the Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station. 

Established in 1992, the Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition represents more than 16 chambers in the Town of Brookhaven. The awards reception honors members that represent the values and mission of the coalition.

During the evening, Brookhaven Town chamber members were recognized by the Supervisor and Councilmember for their service to the business community. In addition to running their own businesses, members share the understanding that small businesses provide jobs to thousands of people and help create a sense of place in the community. 

“Congratulations to all the award recipients. This recognition of service to the business community is well deserved, especially after the difficulties brought on by the pandemic. Small business was hit hard, but now it’s their time to rebound and get back to business as usual,” said Supervisor Romaine.

“I was so proud to see our own Jennifer Dzvonar from the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce; James Luciano from the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Colette Frey-Bitzas from the Three Village Chamber of Commerce be nominated as members of the year,” said Councilmember Kornreich. 

“The town wide winner was our very own Jen Dzvonar. Thank you, Jen and all our Chamber members for everything you do to make Council District 1 a great place to live and do business. Special thanks to Indu Kaur for hosting the event at the elegant Meadow Club, and a shoutout to Barbara Ransome for running a great event,” he added.

Photo from Councilmember Kornreich's office

On April 20, Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich joined members of the Port Jefferson Station /Terryville Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the installation of a new fence at Train Car Park. The park, which is home to one of the last remaining Long Island Railroad electric baggage coach cars, is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Nesconset Highway (Route 347) and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station.

Future improvements to the park include enhanced parking, updated signs and a new stage for community events, including “Summer Concert Wednesdays.” Pictured from left to right are Port Jefferson Station /Terryville Chamber of Commerce members Craig den Hartog (Events Director); Jennifer Dzvonar (President); Indu Kaur (Director); Councilmember Kornreich; Kristin Winter (Membership Director); Dee Earle (Director); Joan Nickeson (Community Liaison) and Jeff Kito (Facilities Director).

“We’ve all passed the intersection of Route 347 and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station a million times. Most people have seen the train car, which is the home of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce and many people have attended one of the amazing events hosted by the Chamber. But despite the best efforts of the community, for far too long this park has not received the attention and resources it deserves. We’ve decided that it’s time for that to change,” said Councilmember Kornreich.

“Working closely with Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber’s board and Commissioner Ed Morris from the Brookhaven Town Parks Department, we have identified the first few steps in helping establish this park as one of the centerpieces of a Port Jefferson Station renaissance. We started with a beautiful wooden paddock fence to help define the space and echo the area’s long equestrian history, but there are many great improvements to come. I look forward to enjoying this space together with the community and taking part of the exciting changes coming to Port Jefferson Station and Terryville.”

A sampling of Indian food for the restaurant’s lunch special. Photo by Julianne Mosher

The Curry Club officially has a new look, now with a water view.

Previously located in Setauket at 10 Woods Corner Road, the family behind several local eateries and venues has merged two favorites into one large palace of spice. 

Indu Kaur, owner of SāGhar in Port Jefferson, said that when her family purchased the building located at 111 W. Broadway, the original plan was to eventually move The Curry Club in — but then COVID-19 happened and everything changed. 

Kulwant Wadhwa, the family’s patriarch and owner of The Curry Club, kept his location the same, and everything they had planned stalled. The Wadhwa/Kaur family devoted their time to helping first responders from Riverhead to Manhattan by feeding them good, wholesome Indian cuisine as they renovated the former Harbor Grill and Schaffer’s into SāGhar — an Indian-American fusion restaurant, with a gorgeous upstairs bar overlooking the harbor.

SāGhar, translates to “Home of the Sea.”

The family is also behind The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station, which reopened last year after a fire devasted the catering hall back in 2018.

“So, we kind of took the challenge,” Kaur said. “And over the last year, we became well known in the community.”

Now, nearly two years after purchasing the new Port Jefferson village spot, the dream of integrating The Curry Club into SāGhar has officially become a reality. 

“It’s all blended very well,” Kaur added. “It’s our story. We started from an authentic Indian restaurant, and now here we’re the next generation, adding a more modern fusion touch to the menu.”

And as of Tuesday, Feb. 8, The Curry Club at SāGhar was born. 

The move

Indu Kaur (far left) with father Kulwant Wadhwa and family in Port Jefferson. Photo from Kiran Wadhwa

Practically overnight, Kaur said they finalized dinner in Setauket, and after sending their customers home they moved out. 

Monday night, the family moved from the former location into the downstairs room. Wadhwa said that SāGhar has given them more space to cater to more people — roughly 75 seats upstairs, 55 in the Harbor Room up front, 35 in the Captain’s Room and 45 in the Schooner Room. The Curry Club at SāGhar is on the same lot where the famous Schooner Restaurant sat years ago. 

The lease will officially be up at the old location on May 31, and until then the family will continue to operate The Velvet Lounge adjoining the restaurant.

But the two are excited for SāGhar’s new look. According to Kaur, a lot of it will look similar but now they will offer a full buffet — just like The Curry Club was famously known for. 

“In Port Jefferson, there is nowhere where you can actually grab and go pick food, especially for nurses meaning to get out in two minutes who are only a mile away to the hospital,” she said.

She added that they will continue doing live music every weekend, and host other fun events for the community like psychic nights.

With the move came a whole renovation to their kitchen and an addition of a whole line of Halal wines — champagnes, reds and whites created with 0% alcohol. 

And Wadhwa said there is something for everyone at the “new” Curry Club.

“We’ve got vegetarian options, vegan, nonvegetarian, gluten free … we thought of everything,” he said. 

They’re also continuing their balanced lunches.

“Those are always very popular,” Kaur said. “This is a must-have.”

For just $20, the lunch portion includes eight samplings of different Indian dishes and a side of rice to try them with. It also comes with a side of naan bread for easy dipping.

Some history

Wadhwa was not always a restaurateur. In fact, the family originated in Afghanistan where he was a pharmacist. 

“A lot of things happened with our country,” Kaur said, adding that the family eventually moved to India to escape.

As his children began getting older and started to marry, Wadhwa decided that moving to America would be the best option for his family. In the early 1990s, he came to Long Island, where his brother-in-law was a chef. Together, they decided to open what was believed to be the first Indian restaurant in Suffolk County — The Curry Club. 

Wadhwa “started working in the kitchen,” Kaur said. “Dad didn’t even know how to pick up a glass of water, but now he’s running three bars.”

And just like that, he changed his career “because of family survivorship,” she said. “America has been a blessing that we were able to survive.”

The original Curry Club was actually located where Bliss is currently occupied. 

Wadhwa said that at the time the only other well-known Indian restaurant was located in Hicksville and they were worried if it would work out.

“From the day we opened the door, we got busy,” he said. “We got so busy that a line was outside — people were waiting.”

Now, nearly 30 years later, the family is excited to continue bringing flavor to the North Shore.

“We want to bring color,” Kaur said. “And spice and happiness. That’s our goal, to just serve our community and see everybody happy with food.”

The daughter-and-father duo said that they can agree seeing people happy when they leave with full bellies keeps them smiling.

“It’s good,” Wadhwa said. “It’s exciting.”

Indu Kaur, right, with her sister Kiran Wadhwa at SāGhar in Port Jefferson. File photo by Julianne Mosher

Soft spoken and modest, Indu Kaur has been quietly helping out her community, all while managing and operating three local businesses — two of which opened in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Kaur, owner of SāGhar in Port Jefferson, also works alongside her family with their two other establishments — The Curry Club in Setauket and the newly renovated The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station. 

A resident of Setauket, her sister Kiran Wadhwa said that while she lives a few minutes out of the village or station, Port Jefferson is her second home. 

“She just wants to always lend a helping hand,” Wadhwa said. “Her goal is to make the community better.” 

Indu Kaur with blueprints of her new restaurant after purchasing The Harbor Grill. File photo by Kyle Barr

Joan Nickeson, community liaison to the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, said that Kaur is a member of several different boards and groups that all service Port Jefferson and its surrounding areas. 

“She is a model of entrepreneurship,” she said. “I am thoroughly impressed by her talent, grace and forward-thinking perspective.” 

Nickeson added that along with being a PJSTCC member, she is part of the Port Jefferson Chamber and the Three Village Chamber of Commerce. Kaur is also secretary of the Cumsewogue Historical Society, and owner of the historic Baylis-Randall house, next to The Meadow Club.

“She is looking to refurbish it and establish space for photos and archives of local history of, not just The Meadow Club, but the Baylis-Randall house, historic Port Jefferson Station and Terryville,” she said. 

While working full time at SāGhar in the village, dishing out delicious Indian and American cuisine and cocktails to locals and visitors alike, Wadhwa said that Kaur also does finances for The Meadow Club and handles all of its operations. 

“She burns the candle at both ends to improve her restaurant and catering hall,” Nickeson added. 

This past June, Kaur and Wadhwa hosted the Port Jefferson high school’s prom at The Meadow Club, as well as Port Jefferson Chamber’s Health and Wellness Fest in October — two opportunities that brought both sides of Port Jefferson together. 

And all of these things were implemented over the last year and a half — while dealing with and overcoming the coronavirus.

“Although women-owned businesses are somewhat rare in the restaurant/hospitality industry, Indu Kaur has managed to open two unique properties during a pandemic — The Meadow Club and SāGhar,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket). “She is a role model for women aspiring to be restaurateurs. She has a can-do, work-hard attitude that she attributes to her immigrant family.”

Kaur previously told TBR News Media that after a fire devastated The Meadow Club in 2018, she and her family spent more than two years repairing it and turning it into the picture-perfect venue it is today.

But in the midst of rebuilding and construction, the pandemic hit — also as Kaur signed the deal on taking over the former Harbor Grill (Schafer’s) in the village. 

“Two years ago, we thought we were done,” Kaur said last November, just as The Meadow Club was starting to unveil. “But now we’re excited to bring our gem back to Suffolk County.”

Indu Kaur, left, with her family. Photo from Kiran Wadhwa

Hahn added that Kaur “had the courage and perseverance to rebuild The Meadow Club and reopen it bigger and better in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Incredibly, she also simultaneously opened SāGhar, a new restaurant in Port Jefferson Village with rooftop dining. It was this open-air rooftop that helped her stay open throughout the pandemic.”

An empathetic business owner, Hahn said that Kaur would always put the needs of her customers first — even as she struggled herself throughout the troubles of maintaining her establishments during a trying time. 

“Even though she was incredibly busy with two businesses, she never forgot the hardship of her employees and the brides and grooms who were displaced by the fire, and did her best to help them find new jobs and wedding venues,” Hahn said. “Indu is an unstoppable force and a tremendous asset to our community.”

And on top of all that, Kaur would personally drive meals — more than $30,000 worth of food — to first responders throughout the pandemic to make sure they had nice hot meals and to say “thanks.”

Kaur still stays philanthropic, donating meals and food to homeless shelters and families that lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 

And she’s a great neighbor, Port Jefferson Village trustee Rebecca Kassay said. 

As of late, Kaur has taken it upon herself to create welcome bags for residents moving into the newly opened apartment buildings in town. 

“These lovely gift bags full of local vouchers, coupons, gift cards and information about the Port Jefferson business community help to tie new residents into our vibrant community,” Kassay said. “Indu so often weaves people together in the most beautiful ways, and we are endlessly grateful for her thoughtful and inclusive efforts.”

Kassay added that Kaur is a “gift to this community.”

“Between the glowing positivity she emanates, her incredible organizational skills and her generous spirit, it is no wonder that her business and community efforts find deserved success,” the village trustee said. 

Kaur’s sister agreed. 

“She always gives 100% — whether it’s for her friends, family, businesses or community,” Wadhwa said. “There is no one else I can see being any more deserving of this nomination for Person of the Year than Indu.”

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Photo from Kiran Wadhwa

After a fire devasted The Meadow Club more than two years ago, the family behind Setauket’s The Curry Club and Port Jefferson’s SāGhar felt like their world was falling apart. 

Known for its weddings in Port Jefferson Station, and being a structure on Route 112 for more than five decades, the building has been fixed and revamped. It’s a whole new sight. 

The Meadow Club’s new look. Photo from Kiran Wadhwa

“Our logo has always been a closed lotus, but the closed lotus represented the fire,” said Kiran Wadhwa, owner, creative director and event planner at the Meadow Club. “The lotus needs to open up and blossom — it represents rebirth, freshness and a peaceful, new environment.”

Wadhwa and her sister, Indu Kaur, took over the club in 2014. 

“We’re looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel,” Kaur said. “Two years ago, we thought we were done, but now we’re excited to bring our gem back to Suffolk County.”

The rebirth of The Meadow Club began after Kaur got the call her venue was a blaze in the early morning of July of 2018. Since then, she and her team had been working hard to get the property back in shape. “This is our legacy,’ Wadhwa said. “We want to leave this behind to our kids.”

But because the venue was so old and outdated, the process took longer than they initially thought. Kaur and Wadhwa had to redo the roof as well as add new air conditioners, sprinkler systems, floors and bathrooms. The permits prior to renovation were also outdated.

“We thought of everything,” Wadhwa said. “Everything we had issues with inside the old building, we fixed.”

Which worked in their favor. Although they didn’t disclose when the grand opening date is, construction is almost done and they’re starting to book weddings for 2021 and 2022.

“Everything is literally brand new,” Wadhwa said. “We build the new COVID guidelines into our construction.”

When one walks through the front door of the new Meadow Club, they are greeted with white walls and marble floors. Several crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings in each room and the staircase, which was formerly to the right-hand side, now expands on the left. A waterfall is located at the bottom of the stairs, and a live-moss wall sits above it. They added handicap accessible restrooms to the space, redoing everything. 

The Meadow Club’s former look before its fire. Photo from Kiran Wadhwa

There are other changes, as well, including COVID-friendly additions the family made to their venue. Each of the three ballrooms now has their own exits and there is a new outdoor patio full of flowers and evergreens. Owners also installed sanitation stations throughout the property and have planned for sanitizing after each and every event. 

“We don’t want anyone to get sick,” Kaur said. “And we don’t want them to feel unsafe.”

As for the food, they are changing up the menu. They are adding a new chef who specializes in fine Italian cuisine, but also offer Pakistani and Indian food. They also made their kitchen completely Kosher. 

“We’re the only catering hall that offers Halal, Pakistani, Italian and Indian,” Wadhwa said. 

Although for now weddings must be at the 50-person limit, with no mingling, dancing or cocktail hour, the family said they are excited to bring this whole new space to couples walking down the aisle next year and beyond.

A family-owned business, they want their brides to feel special. 

“We’re accommodating and flexible,” Kaur said. “We personalize to each brides’ different needs.”

“I wait for the gasp,” Wadhwa added about the current tours they’re offering. “And I love seeing the look on their faces. The venue is brand new, clean and safe. It’ll be every brides’ dream come true.”

Completely redone by Ronkonkoma-based BELFOR Property Restoration, Project Manager Scott Sommerville said redoing the venue has been a journey. 

“It’s been the most wonderful transition from old to new,” he said. “We resurrected it.”

Though Many Still Prefer Safety of Outdoors

Tommy Marzano, a co-owner of Faradays of Smithtown, said more people prefer eating outside than in. Photo from Google maps

With Long Island entering Phase 3 of reopening, businesses are looking to bounce back and recover from the shutdown. Restaurant owners are hoping to take advantage of the addition of indoor dining during the summer months. Here’s how owners reacted to the first week of Phase 3. 

The Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce reminded residents their stores are open for Phase Two after a chamber meeting June 16. Photo by Joan Nickeson

“It has been going really smooth really, better than I expected,” said Indu Kaur, director of operations of The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station. 

At the family’s newest restaurant, SaGhar, on East Broadway in Port Jeff, the rooftop floor and patio has been very busy. Kaur said they plan on accommodating patrons who want indoor seating in the front room of the restaurant that is facing the water. The Curry Club, which the family also runs in Setauket, currently offers outdoor seating at its patio and will have limited indoor seating. 

“We will keep them six feet apart, there will be different entrances and exits for outdoor and indoor seating,” Kaur said. “For outdoor seating you will go down different staircases when you enter and leave. Also, we’ve placed hand sanitizers throughout the building.”

Kaur said they have gotten good feedback from customers on the outdoor dining layout at SaGhar. 

“They’ve told us they like the overall ambiance, the decoration of space and are enjoying the outdoor entertainment we are providing,” she said. “Business has started to come back.”

With the start of summer and the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, Kaur said they will look to possibly increase tables with the influx of people venturing into the village. In addition, they are in the process of training 20 new employees to add to the staff they already have. 

“We will try to accommodate walk-in customers as much as possible, but we advise to make a reservation,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone is safe and feels comfortable.” 

Charlie Lefkowitz, president of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce, said business owners in the area are “cautiously optimistic” about the current and next stages of reopening. They’re hoping that they can return to normal business operations soon. 

“There has been a lot of burden put on these businesses; restaurants and retail stores have had to contend with reduced volume of sales, capacity and selling space,” Lefkowitz said. 

The chamber president added that while take-out orders helped bring in funds for restaurants, outdoor/indoor dining options will allow for these establishments to bounce back. He added that the chamber will continue to assist businesses in any way it can and help them navigate and understand Phase 4. 

“They are excited for the summer months and are looking forward to the business it could bring,” he said. 

Lefkowitz said he thinks post-COVID we will see outdoor seating and retail space during the spring and summer time. 

“I think it’s something every municipality on Long Island should consider, from what we’ve heard if given the choice, people have preferred outdoor seating,” he said. 

Tommy Marzano, co-owner of Faradays in Smithtown, said customers have been apprehensive about eating indoors with the majority of them preferring the restaurant’s outdoor seating.

“They prefer being outside — some of them don’t want nothing to do with being indoors even if everyone is six feet apart,” he said.

Marazano is hopeful that customers will eventually become more comfortable eating indoors again, though he acknowledged it could be a problem in the fall/winters months if COVID is still around and outdoor dining is not an option. He said takeout and delivery options could come back into play for restaurants.

Nonetheless, the feedback from customers has been positive, many raving about the restaurant’s garden and patio area.

“They are happy to have some bit of normalcy and be able to have a dining experience again,” he said. “We’ve had people tell us that this was the first place they wanted to go eat out, it means a lot that the community wants us to succeed.”

Sports Leagues/Recreational Sports for Phase 3
Shoreham-Wading River senior mid-fielder Elizabeth Shields out maneuvers a defender at home against John Glenn. Photo by Bill Landon

Beginning July 6, certain youth and recreation sports will be allowed to restart on Long Island. 

Baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross-country, soccer, noncontact lacrosse, doubles tennis, rafting, paintball, water polo and swimming will be allowed to begin games and competitions. 

Here is a list of youth sports leagues and facilities on the North Shore that will restart during July: 

Baseball/Softball 

• The Town of Brookhaven Baseball is tentatively set to begin its summer season on July 13. the 2020 Varsity Wood Bat Tournament in Brookhaven will run July 8-12.

• The Town of Brookhaven Fastpitch Softball League will commence its summer season in July. 

• The Three Village Youth Baseball and Softball League will start its season July 8. 

• North Shore Little League will not have a summer season, but its fall season will begin Aug. 15 and continue through the middle of October. 

• The Town of Brookhaven Adult Softball Slowpitch League will open beginning Sun July 12 and play through October. There will be no separate fall ball season. 

• St. James/Smithtown Little League will begin practicing July 6 and a soft opening day will be held July 11. The baseball/softball season will run July 13-29. 

• Huntington Tri-Village Little League will resume games July 25 with the season ending in late October

Soccer 

• Brookhaven Youth Soccer League will begin its season July 18 and last until Aug. 22. 

Tennis 

• Port Jefferson Country Club at Harbor Hills tennis courts are open to play. 

• The Town of Brookhaven’s pickleball/tennis courts located at 286 Hawkins Road, Centereach, are open. At this time, the courts will only be opened to Brookhaven residents.

• Huntington Town tennis courts are open to residents and the public. 

• The Suffolk County Junior Tennis League in Smithtown will begin summer matches from July 13 to Aug. 20. 

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Harbor Grill in Port Jefferson is now under ownership of the people behind the Meadow Club and Curry Club. Photo by Kyle Barr

The owners of a popular catering hall and Indian cuisine restaurant along the North Shore are making their move to West Broadway in Port Jefferson. 

The family of restaurateurs has plans to take over the Harbor Grill, previously known as Schafer’s. The new restaurant would be one of the latest addition to the Port Jeff harborfront. 

Indu Kaur, the director of operations of The Meadow Club, is part of a family of business owners on the North Shore. Photo by Kyle Barr

Indu Kaur, the director of operations of The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station, said they had been renting out the space in Port Jeff during the holiday season and hosted their annual Small Business Holiday Party there. 

It was during that time that they realized the potential of the building. 

“We noticed that our clients really liked the space and the overall ambiance,” Kaur said. “It was perfect for smaller parties — we saw a great opportunity.”

In addition to the client’s feedback, Kaur said she liked the layout of the two-story restaurant with an outdoor dining section that boasts views of the harbor. 

“We have been brainstorming a few things, we wanted to move into a new direction and are excited to offer something different to Port Jeff residents,” she said. 

Kaur said they haven’t decided on a name for the restaurant yet, but are leaning toward a water theme being they are close to the harbor as well as incorporating a touch of their business background.  

A chef has already been hired for the new space, and the family is in the midst of finalizing the menu and other aspects of the new restaurant. 

Kaur said that residents can expect Indian cuisine and a fusion of menu items similar to what they offer at their other two restaurants. 

“It’s going to be great to offer new options to our customers,” she said. “It will be a great place to have a nice lunch or dinner.”

In addition, they hope to attract visitors coming in from Bridgeport. Kaur also teased the possibility of adding a brunch menu as a way of attracting more patrons. 

As the family prepares to open the new restaurant, the Meadow Club which was closed due a fire in 2018, is expected to reopen this spring. 

Despite rumors that The Curry Club may close, Kaur said the restaurant will continue to be open and that the famed train cart will remain. 

One of the first events the family will host in the building will be a Valentine’s Day four-course dinner. Tickets for couples are $120 which will include a Champagne bottle and a cocktail drink. Reservations from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. can be made by calling 631-928-3800. The dance floor will be open, and a DJ will be playing all night. 

“We are excited about the move and we are looking forward to helping bring more people into Port Jefferson,” Kaur said. 

Indu Kaur with blueprints of her new restaurant after purchasing The Harbor Grill. File photo by Kyle Barr

A North Shore family of business owners is looking to help connect and celebrate local shops, despite a devastating fire of one of their premier establishments.

Indu Kaur, the director of operations of The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station, said she and her family, which also owns the Curry Club in East Setauket, will be renting the space of Harbor Grill in Port Jefferson village on weekdays during the holiday season. That is where she said they expect to host their annual Small Business Holiday Party Dec. 14, which in previous years has taken place at The Meadow Club.

When originally assessing the damages of the fire at The Meadow Club banquet hall, where the roof had burned in a predawn fire July 2018, the owners thought they could reopen just a few months after the damages. The fire had spread to just over half the roof, but what the family soon came to realize was the damage was much more expansive than that. 

Inside the reconstructed Meadows Club. The owners hope to have the site operational again by spring of next year. Photo by Kyle Barr

Fire hose and sprinkler water had completely destroyed much of the furniture inside. The water had also ruined the wallpaper and paintings hung around the place, which The Meadow Club’s director of operations said was a particularly rough blow.

Kaur said Brookhaven Town has been “very kind in guiding us through” and in expediting the process, but still the length of the process has been taxing on the owners and family. Kaur said they have already sunk $2 million into bringing the location back to where it was, and reconstruction has been slowed by needing to bring the building up to code. She still works at the building while work is ongoing, even during the progressively colder late autumn months. They hope to have the site operational again by spring of next year, but she was understandably hesitant to be sure on those dates, with so much work still needed for completion.

“We thought everything would be a cleanup — new Sheetrock, new carpet, we’re done,” she said. “It’s still going above our budget, so we are way past where we had predicted.” 

Jennifer Dzvonar, the president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, called the owners of The Meadow Club one of the most supportive members of the community and chamber around, often willing to host meetings or other events, and they have aided with donations in the past. After the fire and the building was closed, Dzvonar said Kaur and the hall’s owners wouldn’t hesitate to offer alternative places.

“They’re putting in tremendous effort to bring back this beautiful establishment for the community,” Dzvonar said. “It will increase the prestige of the area.”

“They’re putting in tremendous effort to bring back this beautiful establishment for the community, It will increase the prestige of the area.”

– Jennifer Dzvonar 

Kaur said her most loyal customers have been buzzing about when it will open next. One family, she said, has even put their wedding on hold for the sake of having their ceremony at the banquet hall.

“The reason the town helped — the community helped us — is because we had loyal customers,” she said. “They kept coming back because they wanted to hold their celebrations here. That is why I’m so touched and emotional because I hate to see anybody waiting for their celebrations.”

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) called The Meadow Club “an institution” in Port Jeff Station, commending the owners for working with the chamber, even with the place still under repairs.

“The Meadow Club has been diligent in its efforts to reopen and has clearly shown a commitment to continued investment in this Port Jefferson Station community,” the councilwoman said. “It has been my pleasure to assist them in navigating the town’s planning process as they work toward reopening.”

The chamber president said the holiday party is a great resource for small businesses that don’t have the time or money to throw their own celebrations.

“It’s just an example of them giving back,” she said.

The Meadow Club is currently accepting reservations for the Small Business Holiday Party Dec. 14 and New Year’s Eve Bash Dec. 31, both at Harbor Grill, 111 W. Broadway in Port Jeff. The event is asking for $65 per person plus tax, where each company will have its own reserved table. Each ticket includes food and valet parking, and the event will have a DJ. People can visit The Meadow Club’s Facebook page for more information.

“All the small businesses can get together and network, that’s what’s good about it,” Kaur said.