Skinless sausages at The Olive Room Meeting Pointe in Port Washington.

Skinless sausages at The Olive Room Meeting Pointe in Port Washington. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

A year after it opened on Main Street in Port Washington, The Olive Room Meeting Pointe has closed. The owners pointed to a number of factors for the decision.

First, the novelty wore off. “In a small town,” said Barry Wohl, “everyone tries the new place, then it settles down to a plateau.” He said that the first few months were very busy and the summer was “surprisingly good given that we are not near the water,” but the fall was slow.

Wohl’s partner, Daniel Pedisich, had operated a similar Mediterranean small-plates wine-bar spot in Huntington, Vinoteka 46, which closed earlier this year. He had hoped that the concept would find more fertile soil in Port Washington. “We had so many customers who loved it — but they only came on Friday and Saturday night. Long Island dining has always been skewed toward the weekend,” he continued, “but, since the pandemic, even more so.”

There was a limit to how much business a 40-seat “date-night” restaurant could do. Wohl noted that “if we served the kind of food that did strong takeout business, it might have worked.”

Pedisich, a former wine importer, has operated restaurants since 2011; in addition to Vinoteka, he also owned Bin 56 and Konoba Craft Kitchen & Tasting Lounge in Huntington. And he has grown disenchanted.

“Since COVID,” he said, “it seems like every six months you have to rethink your business — prices aren’t stable and the marketing all revolves around TikTok, Facebook and Instagram.” Maintaining a strong presence on social media can cost thousands of dollars every month but, he explained, “a lot of the customers you get that way only come until they find the next hot place to eat.”

Pedisich and Wohl haven’t yet decided whether to launch a new concept in the Olive Room space or to sell the lease to another operator.

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