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Aug 1, 2018 4:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

John Tortorella Buys Former Friendly's Building, Plans To Put In New Restaurant

The former site of the Montauk Highway Friendly's restaurant. FILE PHOTO
Aug 7, 2018 1:15 PM

The site of the former Hampton Bays Friendly’s has been sold and will be hosting a new restaurant before the end of the year.

John Tortorella, the owner of J. Tortorella Swimming Pools in Southampton and Centro Trattoria & Bar in Hampton Bays, confirmed on Thursday, August 2, that he purchased the old Friendly’s building on Montauk Highway for $1.3 million in June.

He also confirmed that Salvatore Biundo, who leases Centro, would be the new tenant, although Centro will not be moving. Instead, the plan is to create a separate breakfast, lunch and dinner spot at the new location, which Mr. Tortorella said will open in the fall. “There will be a restaurant going in there,” he said.

Reached on Friday, Mr. Biundo said he hasn’t worked out all the details yet, but that the plan is to have some form of casual dining—something that he said the hamlet is in dire need of.

“There’s a void in Hampton Bays,” he said. “I thought it’s an excellent location right off the exit. It’s the first thing you see.”

Mr. Tortorella agreed: “There is a need there for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

He added that he had been in negotiations with the previous owners of the building, Barry Moore and Joseph Malvasio, for roughly two to three months, noting that the initial asking price for the property at 149 West Montauk Highway was above $2 million.

As far as changes to the restaurant, Mr. Tortorella said that the interior will be remodeled, but the 5,200-square-foot structure will essentially remain the same.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, who lives in Hampton Bays, said she was elated to see progress. “I saw some work going on there recently and was happy to see it,” she said.

The Hampton Bays Friendly’s closed its doors in July 2017 after the franchise owner, Joe Vitrano, said his landlord, property owner Joseph Malvasio of Florida, raised the rent.

Mr. Malvasio, a trustee of the George DeQuattro Revocable Living Trust, could not be reached for comment.

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It would be perfect as a medical building. A nice dialysis or cancer treatment office.
By Rayman (64), southampton on Aug 2, 18 9:45 AM
An Olive Garden or IHOB would be nice
By Pacman (273), Southampton on Aug 2, 18 10:23 AM
2 members liked this comment
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Aug 2, 18 11:38 AM
ihop is in Riverhead
By jackiej5 (3), East Quogue on Aug 10, 18 9:09 AM
24 hours please
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Aug 2, 18 11:37 AM
Good job getting the deal done as that could have sat for 20 years like some places!
By Killerfrog (38), Southampton on Aug 2, 18 11:37 AM
Congratulations to John Tortorella. Looking forward to this!
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Aug 2, 18 12:30 PM
IHOP would be perfect
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Aug 2, 18 12:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
SO... IHOP just cut ribbon and opened doors in RIVERHEAD at the vacant "JOE'S", less than 10 mins away. I'm sure that IHOP conducts studies before just opening locations. I wish Mr. Tortorella nothing but success but lets take a look at the area - Diner, CLOSED... Friendly's, CLOSED, CitiBank, POOF! As I've said before, the only businesses in Hampton Bays are the ones who are selling Boxes, Packing Materials, and Window White Wash... that stuff is flying off the shelves. So maybe Mr. Tortorella ...more
By DisgustedHamptons (58), Hampton Bays on Aug 10, 18 5:00 AM
that is because people like yourself vote down every project ( like the golf coarse in east q ) a project that would have brought many upscale people to spend in our hamlet!
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on Aug 13, 18 12:02 PM
Yes, the diner closed and it was mostly due to taxes. Yes, Friendly's closed but they were cutting back on their locations. Citibank did not have a drive-thru and I think that was bad for business. Also Citi has closed all branches east of somewhere near Smithhaven mall. Don't blame HB. How about success stories like 1 North, Canal Cafe, Francesca's, Gators, Centro Trattoria, Rumba, Guava etc. And that's only the restaurants! HB is doing great and I think it looks better than ever!!!
By baywoman (165), southampton on Aug 13, 18 4:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Totorella does great work with his projects , but Restuarants are a different beast if it aint different it fails . Give it your best shot
By 1percent (52), Quogue on Aug 2, 18 5:47 PM
Only a man who hates his money would open a breakfast, lunch and dinner joint. Sounds good intheory but not practice in seasonal community.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Aug 2, 18 6:34 PM
2 members liked this comment
Hampton Bays is no longer a seasonal community and if you give the locals a friendly place with good food and good prices they will come...

By m50one (8), Flanders on Aug 15, 18 12:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
good luck John HB needs a GOOD all around place to eat at any time.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Aug 2, 18 6:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hopefully, no boring chain restaurant.
By Marrrmin (17), Hampton bays on Aug 2, 18 9:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
Have you ever seen Centro's prices? Every appetizer and salad over $15 minus 1 should give you an idea. If you can afford it I'm sure it's great.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 18 7:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
Bravo. There no good breakfast places in HB The hamlet is ok and Orlando’s is gone and was always hot either flies and the cashier screaming at people. I welcome the new breakfast place. Centro is great and we should be so happy Torterella is investing in Hampton Bays.
By Fernie11946 (11), Hampton Bays on Aug 3, 18 1:43 PM
Restaurants with swimming pools haven't been invented yet.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 4, 18 7:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
Can’t Wait‼️
A successful business man once again enhances his community.
Thank You ��
By RCBT (4), Hampton Bays on Aug 4, 18 7:57 AM
Congratulations and Best of Luck!!! I for one will definitely be patronizing this new LOCAL Business!!! How about all do the same?
By JackC574 (21), Southampton on Aug 4, 18 2:27 PM
went to Centro for the first time. I wanted to sit outside and was told not cause the owner of the building of eating outside,

No problem I sat inside. Service was beyond slow. After paying my check and asking why this service was so slowThey told meThat the owner of the property was dining and that All attention was on them.

By Summer Resident (251), Southampton Town, NY on Aug 5, 18 1:55 AM
Cool story.
By Pacman (273), Southampton on Aug 6, 18 10:02 AM
Sounds like a fake story to me.
By luvdogs08 (16), southampton on Aug 14, 18 10:30 PM
You doubters don’t know John and Sal. They’ll come up with a great concept and make it a success. It needs to appeal to locals, families...and our visitors.
By Michael Jacobs (14), Westhampton Beach on Aug 6, 18 8:19 PM
Sabrosa please
By CMoscicki (1), East Quogue on Aug 7, 18 12:28 PM
Lots of money to be made on breakfast and lunch...not so much for dinner but the liquor sales make up for it.
By sgt202 (75), Hampton Bays on Aug 8, 18 4:16 PM
Texas Roadhouse!!!! lol
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Aug 10, 18 12:07 PM
I'd go
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Aug 10, 18 12:31 PM
Need a good ribs place around here!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Aug 11, 18 12:50 PM
Taco Bell for the populous. Or a good ol mom and pop restaurant like Modern Diner...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 12, 18 6:33 PM
Populous (adj): having a large population; densely populated.

Populace (noun): the people living in a particular country or area.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 13, 18 10:31 AM
Knitter, I’m not to sure Taco Bell is a good call. All that gas that’s gonna be created could melt the polar ice cap.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 12, 18 6:55 PM
Maybe something healthy and not pricey? Just a pipe dream I guess...
By Melissabee (4), brookhaven on Aug 13, 18 10:27 AM
A soup kitchen?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 15, 18 1:29 PM
Modern Snack Bar Aquabogue second location???? YES !!!!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Aug 13, 18 10:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
There seems to a thread in most of the comments..that Hampton Bays should have inexpensive restaurants, if restaurants such as Centro, 1 North, Stonecreek
are able to stay in business that means people that have a certain disposable income are coming into town, seriously you want an IHOP, or Taco Bell, thats not food thats just a Freezer and a Fryer.
As to the price, in order for a restaurant to make it thru the mid week
lows they need to charge a certain price to stay in business, ...more
By MMP (7), hampton bays on Aug 14, 18 9:37 AM
HB is in need of a good breakfast and lunch place. I will go when it opens. But the food has to be good.
By luvdogs08 (16), southampton on Aug 14, 18 10:35 PM
We LOVED Crazy Dog Diner in WHB and went there all the time. Something similar would be great in Hampton Bays!
By Tay (35), Hampton Bays on Sep 27, 18 12:44 PM