Uncle Steve's opens in Roslyn
Five years after launching the private event space Vienna on the second floor of the 1875 historical building in the village of Roslyn, owner Matt Prince has opened up the ground level space to the public on Friday and Saturday nights as a cocktails and small bites spot, Uncle Steve's.
"We built it for the 30 and up crowd...we’re playing ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s music," Prince said, adding that his new spot is prime for date night.
He refurbished every inch of the 500-square-foot room that was previously the Chalet Restaurant & Tap Room, he said, giving it a Prohibition style that’s "clean, classy and cozy." The centerpiece in the room remains — a bar with exposed-brick shelving stocked with high-end bourbons, tequilas and wine. About 40 people can fit in the intimate space.
The drinks-heavy menu encompasses a selection of craft cocktails ($16) created with aged Kentucky bourbon, rye whiskey, blanco tequila and spiced rum. Otherwise, goers can order drinks made with more than 50 spirits ($12 to $65), wine, sold by the half bottle (or per two glasses), from $19 to $73; and weekly rotated craft beers.
Small bites include mini tuna tacos, Margherita pies, wings and salads. You'll also find sandwiches stuffed with either fried chicken, steak or pulled pork, and entrees such as teriyaki salmon, lamb chops and Texas beef chili from Wantagh fireman Keith Young, who died of a 9/11-related illness in 2018.
Vienna initially operated as a restaurant before Prince changed the concept to focus on events only. In 2020, he launched Uncle Steve’s House of BBQ, a short-lived ghost kitchen at the same location. The latest endeavor is a hat-tip to Prince's 80-year-old uncle and mentor, Steve Nichols , who was the president of Stride Rite from 1978 to 1986 and then owner of K Swiss sneakers for the next 30 years.
Prince, now in his 40s, has been in the hospitality business since he was 16 when he got his start as a promoter at Sprats nightclub in Island Park. He went on to work banquets and private events at the Garden City Hotel and by the time he was 19, became owner of what was then Bogarts Bar and Grill in Uniondale. It operated under that name from 1994 to 2006, then switched to Chrebet’s Restaurant and Lounge in honor of Jets player (and Prince's roommate at Hofstra) Wayne Chrebet.
Uncle Steve’s is at 1 Railroad Ave. in Roslyn. Its opening hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Dine-in and credit cards only. More info: 516-621-5542; unclestevesroslyn.com