The Bohlsen Restaurant Group is branching out into the event industry this summer, adding an upscale caterer to its portfolio of high-end restaurants.
The caterer, called the Harbor Club at Prime, sits on Huntington Harbor next door to Prime, one of six restaurants belonging to the family-owned Bohlsen Restaurant Group in Islip. The catering hall property, the parking lot across the street and the real estate the company had been leasing for Prime were all purchased in October for about $6 million from the previous owner, said Michael Bohlsen, co-owner of Bohlsen Restaurant Group.
In June, the Harbor Club at Prime will be the third business the Bohlsens have opened in 31/2 years. The catering venue is a way for the company "to expand without necessarily competing with ourselves," Bohlsen said.
"There's a lot of economies of scale with the restaurant and the event space being right next to each other," said Bohslen, who owns the third-generation family company with his brother, Kurt. "We have so much demand to do events at Prime, but we cannot accommodate the vast majority of them because we are doing so much restaurant business." Prime's executive chef, Gregg Lauletta, will oversee the caterer's menu as well.
The 13,000-square-foot, two-story space with views of the water, will seat about 350 people and offers a ballroom, deck and terrace for events including weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, fundraisers and business meetings.
The building had been used as a catering hall by the previous owner, Port Dock and Stone Corp.
Bohlsen said he wanted the catering hall to match the ambience and service of his family's restaurants. "We want to deliver some of our best dishes from our restaurant, not just the usual meat, starch and vegetable," Bohlsen said. "We want the server to remember what you're drinking."