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Sep 10, 2018 3:59 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Blue Duck Bakery Cafe In Southampton, The Original Location, To Close Doors On Saturday

The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe in Southampton. JON WINKLER
Sep 11, 2018 3:29 PM

The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe is saying goodbye to its original home in Southampton Village this week.

The owners of the popular cafe, located at 30 Hampton Road, announced on Monday that it will be closing its doors on Saturday, September 15. The business has three other locations, in Riverhead, Southold and Greenport, that will remain open.

The Southampton shop was where the cafe first opened in 1999.

According to co-owner Nancy Kouris, the bakery is being forced to close because the building’s owner, Joseph Gurrera, who also owns Citarella, gave her and Keith Kouris, her husband and co-cowner, 30 days’ notice to vacate on September 1, claiming he has other plans for the building.

Mr. Gurrera declined to comment on his plans this week.

Ms. Kouris said that the bakery had been operating without a lease for the last five years, and that she and her husband had been negotiating with the building’s previous owner, Ed Bulgin, to sign a new lease—until this spring, when the building was sold to Mr. Gurrera.

“It sort of took us by surprise, and didn’t take us by surprise,” Ms. Kouris said on Monday. “We knew he had other plans for the building, but we didn’t expect this to happen in the fall.”

Mr. Kouris said on Monday that he and his wife had first set up the business on a 10-year lease with a three-year option for extension, when the building was owned by Mr. Bulgin, Lance Nill and Arturo Quiros. Mr. Bulgin and Mr. Nill sold their shares to Mr. Quiros about seven years ago.

Mr. Kouris said that Mr. Bulgin took over ownership of the building about two years ago, but had also wanted to sell the building. Mr. Kouris said that Mr. Bulgin finally told him that he would keep the building and was ready to sign a new lease—but was then told by Mr. Bulgin that the building was sold to Mr. Gurrera in the spring.

Mr. Kouris said that Mr. Gurrera told him the bakery could stay open for the summer season.

“We met [Mr. Gurrera], but he had no interest in offering a lease. I asked, ‘Why not?’ and he said he wanted to keep his options open,” Mr. Kouris said. “He was fine with going month to month, and then I asked him, ‘Well, listen, if you’re going to try to kick us out before summer season, I’m going to close up now. Why am I going to suffer the slow months when I’m not going to hit the busy months?’”

Mr. Gurrera confirmed on Monday that he purchased the building six months ago but would not comment on how much he paid for it or what his plans for the building are moving forward.

Mr. Kouris said that he and his wife have been looking for a new location in Southampton for the bakery for the last couple of years and will continue to look. In the meantime, Ms. Kouris said she and her husband will hold a celebration on September 14 to coincide with National Bakery Day and show appreciation for the business’s loyal customers.

“When you’re there for 19 years, you make friends from the customers who’ve been coming in for many years,” Ms. Kouris said. “We celebrate people with birthday cakes, anniversary cakes and wedding cakes. I think over the years we’ve made christening cakes and graduation cakes for the same person.”

She added, “We’re very, very lucky that our blue duck with attitude became a brand that has spread out.”

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Boycott Citarellas !!!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 10, 18 4:06 PM
4 members liked this comment
I wonder what will happen to the Chinese restaurant? Is it the same building?
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on Sep 10, 18 7:04 PM
Mr. and Mrs Kouris please relocate near the movie theater. There is truly a need for a good coffee shop there. Good luck.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Sep 10, 18 7:25 PM
3 members liked this comment
Such a shame! Please find another place in the village before the holidays. Your pies and cookies are always asked for at our family celebrations. Best of luck and thank you for all you gave to the community.

Gurrera, you're a jerk.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Sep 10, 18 8:24 PM
Wasn’t Gurrera given 90 days notice when Citarella was evicted from its Harlem store? Shameful that he only gave the current tenant 30 days.
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Sep 10, 18 10:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sorry to hear this but I suppose it’s better Mr. Gurrera owning the building than one of the previous listed owners who was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for a tax evasion scheme involving undocumented workers according to Newsday article “Hamptons Contractor Sentenced for Scam Involving Undocumented Workers”, by Robert E. Kessler, February 10, 2010.
By Dawn_O (45), Southampton on Sep 11, 18 6:12 AM
Anybody ever hear of a lease? If you are going to run a business out of someone else's property it is probably a good idea to have one.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 18 7:35 AM
This is awful, first Citarella doesn't have the same quality of stuff and does not employ local people. No more Citarella's for me
By lo-cal (78), southampton on Sep 11, 18 12:13 PM
Does Citarella have some anti-local employment policy we're not aware of?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 11, 18 12:30 PM
The only family businesses that survive in the village are those that own the building or have a decent landlord. Blame the real estate agents.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 11, 18 12:34 PM
"Blame rational economic actors"
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 11, 18 2:04 PM
My family and I will miss Blue Duck, their sunflower bread and lindzer tortes are the best anywhere!

It is unfortunate that so many locally-owned businesses have shut down and been replaced by dull regional/national/international chains that take a significant portion of their profits out of the area. Thank goodness Herricks, Job's Lane Jewler, Fudge Company, Corwith Jewlery, Hildreths, Rotations, Ye Olde Bake Shop and other locally owned businesses are still around : )
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Sep 11, 18 1:36 PM
well said!!!!!!
By coxie1 (37), southampton on Sep 11, 18 5:27 PM
Warning, don't rent without a lease...Da
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 12:02 PM
CITY-rella (what I call it!) just doesn't want the competition of a great, quality bakeshop.
Just another example of the City people taking over local establishment - a real shame!
By VMC (7), Hamtpon Bays on Sep 13, 18 11:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
How dare they want to make more money, how selfish.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 13, 18 11:40 AM
There's a good chance Citerella will turn Blue Duck into a liquor store.

By colleend (4), Hampton Bays on Sep 17, 18 2:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
I wish I could boycott Citarella but I don’t shop there. I gave it a try when it opened and I was completely underwhelmed.
By btdt (449), water mill on Sep 18, 18 1:14 PM
It's just OK, but terribly overpriced. Most local delis have far better prepared food, and grocery stores will undercut Citarella produce/meats every time.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 18, 18 1:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
It’s the only store in town with good oyster sauce. I’ve only bought that and cabbage in Citarella.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Sep 18, 18 1:30 PM
Sorry to hear of your fate ....
I think an outright boycott of Citteralla and any other of his holding would be called for.
I see this as restraint of trade
By jediscuba (71), Suthampton on Sep 20, 18 2:18 PM
How sad, how sad, blue duck has the best baguette around..have you ever had Citterallas baguette, it’s days old and baked in the city...it’s really bad quality with no taste ,tastes like a sponge !
Such a shame that he did that to honest hard working people .
It’s so sad. What is happening to our hamlet..
Please relocate in our village..
By Globetrotter (5), Southampton on Sep 21, 18 7:25 AM
Citarella is overpriced trash. No locals working there and the employees are arrogant and rude.
By Moral Dolphin (50), Southampton on Sep 21, 18 7:51 AM
1 member liked this comment