Vacant for more than a year, the rambling St. James structure that was Restaurant Five Five 2 (and, before that, O’s Food & Wine Bar) has reopened as St. James Public House.
Owners Timmy McCarthy and George Green are also partners in Twisted Tavern in Bohemia and Seven Quarts Tavern in Northport. McCarthy said that his goal was to “give the town what it needs — good dishes, good beer [including 13 on tap], a good wine selection and a good happy hour.”
For the good dishes, he’s relying on veteran chef Al Hand, whose former gigs include Pace’s Dockside in Mattituck and Keith Luce’s Main in Greenport. Hand is serving a version of Luce’s North Fork duck wings (here, Asian duck wings, $12) among appetizers such as baked clams ($12), sliders ($14) and potato skins stuffed with filet mignon tips, sweet and sour cipollini onions, Gorgonzola and a Malbec-demiglace drizzle ($14).
Dinner mains include the Public House burger (a half-pounder topped with caramelized onions, tomato-bacon jam and cheddar on a brioche with fries, $14), Guinness shepherd’s pie ($18), pappardelle with shrimp and sea scallops ($26) and braised short ribs ($30).
McCarthy and Green gutted the premises and redecorated with a smart blend of wood, brick and contemporary lighting. There’s a spacious bar with high tables and booths and, a few steps down, a comfortable dining room. Also a party room upstairs.
St. James Public House is at 552 N. Country Rd., St. James, 631-250-9900, stjamespublichouse.com