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Huntington: HONU sold

The interior of Honu Kitchen & Cocktails.

The interior of Honu Kitchen & Cocktails. Credit: Newsday, 2007 / Bill Davis

HONU Kitchen & Cocktails, a mainstay in downtown Huntington dining, was sold yesterday.

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

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

There currently are Besito restaurants in Huntington, diagonally across the street from HONU; in Roslyn; and 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, emphasizing 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.

Tunney said that despite the harsh weather, "HONU enjoyed a really good winter" business. He added that a decision to sell is "always tough," but  "all the stars were aligned" for the sale.

HONU Kitchen & Cocktails is at 363 New York Ave., Huntington; 631-421-6900.


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