There is no sign outside (yet), only the rough-cut stone facade and propped-open door of a workaday watering hole. Inside, too, there are only scant clues that there may be more to the Sayville Athletic Club than meets the eye — flat-screen televisions above the bar, a dozen brass taps and some dollar bills (from opening night) speared onto the antlers of a stuffed deer head.
But there's also Grimm Artisanal Ales Lambo Door (a double IPA) and pork-belly burnt ends, as well as Budweiser and a burger, inside the Sayville Athletic Club. "We want it to be a place where every walk of life can come in, or where you can bring your 65-year-old dad and you can both find something to drink," said Anthony Giarrusso, a co-owner of the bar, which opened mid-month where Perry's Pub used to be.
With its high-low ethos, the bar shares stylistic DNA with places such as The Rust & Gold in Huntington or Elsie Lane in New Hyde Park — all slyly blending sports-bar vibes with considered beverages, food and games, from foosball to karaoke. (There's a dartboard inside Sayville Athletic Club).
Two Sayville Athletic Club partners, Terence Daly and Dave Prunier, also co-own Great South Bar; besides them and Giarrusso, other partners include Ryan Morimando, James McPhee, Sean Nolan and Keith Pitre, some of those co-owners are also connected to Tullulah's in Bay Shore and Barito Kitchen & Cocktails in Port Jefferson.
Chef Kevin Wheeden used to chef at Barito, and his bar menu is rife with unexpected details, from pork-belly bits and pickled shallots on an iceberg wedge salad to housemade nduja sausage for the house grilled cheese sandwich. There's wings and jalapeño poppers and an "athlete's burger," but also caldo de pollo, roasted carrots with chimichurri, housemade salt-and-vinegar chips (called gaufrettes) and a lemon-herb roasted half-chicken. here Apps start at $7 (for soup) and larger eats top out at $20, for the chicken; Breeden said he'll be adding more dishes as the weeks progress.
Sayville Athletic Club, open daily from noon until 2 a.m. (kitchen until 11 p.m.) is at 209 Railroad Ave., Sayville, 631-319-1700.