Long Island’s second DJ’s Clam Shack is open and ready to serve.
“Bringing the seafood joint to East Northport was an easy decision,” said co-owner Paul Riggio. “We wanted to go to the North Shore, further east, and get more exposure.”
Originally founded 14 years ago in Key West, Florida, Riggio and his childhood friend, Jeff Gagnon, decided to expand the restaurant’s name to Wantagh three years ago.
The original location is a hotspot down South, and has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Both men hail from Setauket and are graduates of Ward Melville High School. Riggio said the success of the Nassau County restaurant made them want to open up another, to get the name out to people who may not frequent the South Shore.
“What’s different about the East Northport location is that we have a full liquor license, perfect for summer cocktails,” he said. In Wantagh, they only serve beer and wine.
So, a few months before its opening, the duo took over the space at 1972 E. Jericho Turnpike and began planning.
“We wanted to give it a Key West kind of flair,” Riggio said. “And we’re going to keep growing it little by little.”
Known for their lobster rolls, tacos, fried ship, clams, DJ’s is a causal seafood restaurant with “a laid-back kind of feel” that combines favorite seafood dishes from the north and south. On their menu, they feature New England clam chowder and Maine lobster rolls, also mahi-mahi, shrimp and roast pork tacos.
The space is larger than its counterpart and features more room for socially distanced dining. Eventually the owners plan on adding outdoor dining.
“The community has come out to support us and they’ve been great,” Riggio said. “It’s a casual, fun place, with homemade food that’s always fresh.”