It's not uncommon to encounter a queue outside of DJ's Clam Shack in Wantagh, especially now that there are only three tables inside (2020 and all). Those with powerful chowder cravings now have another option: Drive a half-hour north to a newer, bigger DJ's Clam Shack in East Northport.
The near replica of that spot, part of a chainlet founded by Jeff Gagnon and Doug Bell in Key West in 2009, has opened in a comparatively more cavernous space on Jericho Turnpike sporting the same creamy chowder, the same overstuffed lobster rolls and the same weathered-wood ambience, plus a full liquor license.
"We just found this place and couldn't pass it up," said co-owner Paul Riggio on Friday, one day after the newest DJs opened in a turnkey space which had operated as a string of bars. Riggio, Gagnon's partner for both Long Island locations, said they had been hunting along the North Shore for a new location long before coronavirus arrived in the spring.
The East Northport spot shares the same culinary DNA as its Wantagh cousin, from mahi-mahi tacos, conch fritters, sweet potato fries and grilled hot dogs to hot and cold lobster rolls and myriad iterations of clams — creamy New England-style clam chowder, steamed littlenecks with garlic, baked clams, clam strips and fried Ipswich clams, served on a roll or heaped into a basket with fries. Prices start at $4 for fries and top out at $33 for the overstuffed lobster roll.
The new spot has triple the capacity of the original, as well as off-street parking alongside the building. It is also the first to possess a full liquor license, though the glossy bar will remain without stools for now, Riggio said. In addition to cocktails, there are three taps and a handful of beers in cans and bottles.
DJ's Clam Shack, 1972 Jericho Tpke., East Northport. 631-486-9474. No website yet.