The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
The sprawling, Space Age-chic Four Food Studio & Cocktail Salon on Route 110 in Melville closed after serving its last meals Saturday night. Restaurant partners Jay Grossman and Ray Sidhom, who owns the building, are already planning Four's successor.
The business lunch mainstay debuted in 2005, a few months after Blackstone Steakhouse opened just up the road. The two restaurants marked the beginning of a 110 corridor restaurant revival that now includes Jewel (2011), Trento (2013) and, just last week, Nisen One Ten.
Grossman said Monday that the restaurant's popularity had waned. "Ten years ago, Four was designed to be of the moment -- in its design and in its menu." But trendiness is a double-edged sword. "People are constantly craving something new," he said, "and that kind of place -- trendy, high-end, expensive -- is tough in this economy."
Grossman expects the location's second act to be "more value-oriented, more of an everyday kind of place."
Starting with its name -- not just a restaurant but a Food Studio & Cocktail Salon -- Four was an attention getter from the beginning. "Four" referred to the seasons, and not only did the New American menu change every three months, but the restaurant, whose construction costs were reported to be upward of $2 million, was divided into four distinct areas, a summery bar, a springlike lounge, one autumnal dining room, and another done in the cool whites of winter.
Despite its mod elegance, Four was a down-to-earth venue, where every meal ended with a gratis pouf of cotton candy.
Grossman said work on the new venue is ready to begin as soon as the permits come through and he hopes to be open this summer.
Four's executive chef, Antonio Guillen, will continue in that role in the location's next incarnation. Grossman expects that many current employees will return, and in the meantime some of them are working at Grossman and Sidhom's other restaurant, K. Pacho in New Hyde Park.