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Iconic Fire Island restaurant for sale

Flynn's Fire Island, a family-owned restaurant and marina

Flynn's Fire Island, a family-owned restaurant and marina that has been a Fire Island staple since 1937, is for sale. Credit: Cushman & Wakefield

Flynn's Fire Island, a family-owned waterfront eatery that has been a Fire Island staple since its doors opened in 1937, is for sale.

An asking price has not been set for the 176,000-square-foot property  at 1 Cayuga St. in Ocean Bay Park, said Cushman & Wakefield investment sales group director Hunter Moss.

"The market will dictate who can yield the highest and best offer for this property," Moss said. "We're anticipating a great deal of interest in it, as it presents a rare and exciting waterfront investment opportunity." 

 In addition to the restaurant, bar and outdoor deck, the property includes an enclosed marina with 50 boat slips, a stand-alone liquor store and a section of undeveloped land in an adjacent lot. 

"In terms of zoning, one of the benefits of this property is that it's had many prior uses. It's been a community gathering place, it's been a hotel and of course, a restaurant and bar," Moss said.

"Zoning determinations on Fire Island are not as cut-and-dried as in other areas and are usually decided on a case by case basis, where prior uses are often approved," he said. "But as of now, it's hard to say what will be allowed here." 

Flynn's, open six months a year, has been owned and operated by the Flynn family for five generations. Cousins Tim and Mike Flynn, current owners of the business, said though they've poured their "hearts and souls" into Flynn's for nearly five decades, they're both ready to part ways with the property and are looking forward to pursuing other endeavors. 

"As much as I love Fire Island, I haven't had a summer off in my whole life," Tim Flynn said. "For the right number, I'll gladly go on my way to other challenges." 

For Mike Flynn, the sale of Flynn's represents an opportunity to spend more time with his children and family, who now live in Colorado.

Even so, he said he's sure he'll "miss this aspect of my life…if you would have told the Flynns five generations ago that this restaurant would grow into what it is today, I don’t think they would have believed you." 

Luke Kaufman, senior operations manager at Fire Island Ferries, said Flynn's -- "without a doubt, a longstanding Fire Island landmark" -- has in recent years morphed from a restaurant that serves liquor into a bar that serves food. 

"On weekends, it's really become more a nightclub," he said. "The round-trip tickets to Ocean Bay Park we sell on weekends are really round-trip tickets to Flynn's. " 

Guests visiting the iconic spot have brought with them a share of problems aboard the company's ferries, said Dave Anderson, general manager at Fire Island Ferries. The company has had to hire outside security firms to handle the sometimes unruly riders, he said. 

The Flynn family built the restaurant that is now The LakeHouse, a fine dining waterfront restaurant in Bay Shore. They operated it for years as Flynn's Bay Shore before selling it in 1980, Tim Flynn said.  The family owns Salt & Barrel, a seafood restaurant and oyster bar also in Bay Shore, which is run by Tim's son Morgan, his daughter Ryan and a third partner. 

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