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FIVE CHEERS FOR HONU

HONU Kitchen & Cocktails, a mainstay in downtown Huntington dining, has been sold.

The new owner, the Five Cheers Group, plans no major changes in either the staff or the style of the two-star restaurant, for now.

Restaurateur John J. Tunney III, a former owner, said he plans to concentrate on Ballo, an Italian restaurant that's expected to open at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, and on expanding the Besito Mexican-restaurant group.

There currently are three other Besito restaurants, one diagonally across the street from HONU in Huntingon, one in Roslyn and one in West Hartford, Conn. Tunney said he would look "south and east" on Long Island for other possible locations.

HONU, which opened 10 years ago as Blue Honu, currently offers a New American menu that emphasizes seafood, steaks and dishes that range from pumpkin tortellini and chicken satay to lobster bisque and burgers. Earlier, it stressed small plates.

Partners in the Five Cheers Group include Thomas McNicholas Jr. and Anthony Geraci, who also operate Kasey's Kitchen and Cocktails in Rockville Centre. They expect to unveil a seasonal spring menu in coming weeks.

HONU Kitchen & Cocktails is at

363 New York Ave., Huntington; 631-421-6900, honukitchen.com.


BEER FESTIVAL ON TAP

The fifth annual Spring Craft Beer Festival is slated for March 26 at Nassau Coliseum. More than 50 brewers are expected to participate, pouring 100-plus brews. You must be at least 21 years old to attend.

Local participants include Blue Point Brewing Co., Brick House Brewery, Blind Bat Brewery, Black Forest Brew Haus, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Fire Island Beer Co., Long Ireland Beer Co., Great South Bay Brewery and John Harvard's Brew House.

There will be two sessions: 12:30 to

4 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $45 in advance and are available online at springcraftbeerfestival.com or at the Coliseum during regular business hours. At the door, admission is $55. The fee for designated drivers is $12.


NEWBIE A LURE

The North Fork warms up in mid-May with a new seafood-chowder house: A Lure. It's brought to you by perpetual-motion chef Tom Schaudel and restaurateur Adam Lovett, who also operate A Mano, the two-star Italian eatery in Mattituck.

Chef Jeff Uguil moves from A Mano to A Lure. Uguil also has cooked at Tequila Jack's on Fire Island, Patagonia West in Westhampton Beach and Vespa in Manhattan.

A Lure takes over the Port of Egypt Marina site long-occupied by The Seafood Barge. The waterside eatery is expected to seat 85. The menu's emphasis will be on local ingredients, from seafood and produce to wines and beers.

A Lure is at 62300 Main Rd. (Route 25), Southold.

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