The long-awaited Henley’s Village Tavern opened over the weekend on a quaint street in Brightwaters, the latest upscale comfort restaurant to join the gastropub boom sweeping Long Island.
Henley’s replaces the Toddler House, a neighborhood pub that had anchored the space for more than 50 years, and features a menu of house-designed cocktails and New-American fare, including a Guinness-braised brisket ($23), lobster mac & cheese ($25) and the Henley's Village burger ($14), which comes loaded with whiskey-glazed bacon, cheddar and crispy onion straws.
The 51-seat space is the latest from Danny Kitson, who owned the more drink-centric Mighty Quinns and Declan Quinns (both now closed), before turning to consulting and working as a manager at Maxwell’s in Islip.
Ready to branch out on his own again, Kitson spent more than a year working to buy the Toddler House space and build it out, gutting the old bar down to its core, and raising the ceiling by five feet.
With the help of contractors who designed Maxwell’s, Henley’s has been outfitted with what Kitson calls “industrial rustic” with a mix of the types of flourishes that are in style these days: exposed brick, weathered cedar planks and steel finishing.
The kitchen is helmed by John Fischer, who most recently worked at Teller’s: An American Chophouse, in Islip, and Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails in Merrick. He had also worked for Kitson at Declan’s.
Henley’s Village Tavern, 184 Orinoco Drive, Brightwaters; 631-666-6223, henleysvillagetavern.com