Two Long Island farmers market vendors are going brick-and-mortar — in a big way — with the opening of a new market, bar and restaurant in the heart of Rocky Point.
Construction is thrumming on Broadway Market, a 2,500-square-foot eatery on the site of the former Gracie’s Hearty Foods that partners Ann Olenick and Shasho Pole hope to open by Labor Day.
Their names may be familiar to devotees of their meat-and-treats booth at a handful of Long Island farmers markets, where Pole and Olenick have collaborated since meeting at the Rocky Point Farmers Market five years ago — Pole selling his own organic beef, chicken, and pork, Olenick offering baked goods such as signature cookie pies.
Their two respective businesses, Naturally Grass Fed and Something Sweet Dessert Shoppe, form an axis around which the Broadway Market food offerings will revolve. A grab-and-go area will offer prepared foods such as salads, soups, chili and organic rotisserie chicken (birds raised by Pole), plus coffee, growler fills, pastries such as artisan doughnuts and cream puffs, and made-to-order sandwiches with organic NGF meat, which will also be sold from a butcher case.
The other face of Broadway Market is a full-service, 42-seat bar and restaurant serving lunch and dinner “of elevated comfort food,” said Olenick. Though they are still finessing the menu, it will include sandwiches, charcuterie boards, oysters, an ‘NGF’ burger, a steak-and-porcini potpie and other dishes anchored in local and organic ingredients.
A rendering of Broadway Market shows a modern, airy space of subway-tiled walls and wood tables, a 12-seat bar, and a covered outdoor patio. The former Gracie’s beer tower will be repurposed for Broadway Market’s taps, which will pour local beers, as well as wine and kombucha. On land behind the restaurant, Olenick said they will eventually plant herbs and vegetables to be used in the kitchen, and the project is expected to create 30 jobs.
Making the leap from a farmers-market booth to ambitious market and restaurant came about from farmers market conversations, said Pole — more specifically, interactions with customers over his chuck roast.
Pole found it challenging to sell four- or five-pound frozen chuck roasts at the markets, so he slow-cooked the meat so it could be sampled as a teaser. “ ‘I’ll take two pounds of that,’ customers would say,” Pole said, meaning the cooked meat — but without a commercial kitchen, he was unable to sell anything other than packaged cuts of the grass-fed and finished Black Angus cattle his company raises near Lake George.
Pole and Olenick began mulling a brick-and-mortar eatery where they could both sell heir goods year-round and offer the NGF meats in prepared dishes. “All of these things tie together in whole animal utilization,” Pole said.
After scouting locations around the island, they came upon Gracie’s — serendipitously, next to the site of the Rocky Point Farmers Market, where they had first met. (Before it was Gracie’s, 643 Broadway used to be Harry’s Restaurant and, casting further back, a Long Island Rail Road station until service was discontinued there in 1938).
The partners purchased the property in 2014 and broke ground a year and a half ago. As an opening date nears, Pole seems grateful to his customers for inspiring Broadway Market. “It was all of these discussions with our customers which brought us to this decision,” he said.