The Buoy Bar, known for its excellent seafood and creative cocktails, did not see the light of day quickly. It spanned over 90 years, having slowly evolved from its humble beginnings as Scotty’s Fishing Station.
“Scotty’s Fishing Station started it all in 1929,” says Jeane Magan, Managing Director of The Buoy Bar and a member of the five-generation family business.
She says Scotty’s was more of a marina, where people could pick up bait and gear and rent boats.
“Over time, Scotty’s slowly evolved and focused more and more on food and drink,” recalls Magan. She adds that until 1999, when The Buoy Bar made its unofficial debut, “We were still renting a few single sculls.” But a few years later, the skiffs left and the food of the place became the center of attention.
In fact, the main kitchen of the Buoy Bar is also the old engine room, where the engines were stored as part of Scotty’s fishing station.
Magan says that although she continues to run the bar, her parents Roberta and Tom Doheny are still involved in the business, as are Magan’s four brothers.
“We are a real family-style establishment; everyone works at the bar part-time or full-time, ”she explains.
His brother Andrew now runs Scotty’s, which is adjacent to the Buoy Bar and is still a top destination for fuel, bait and tackle, as well as a similar but more streamlined seafood menu.
“Scotty’s menu is a mini-Buoy Bar menu but more kid-friendly,” says Magan, adding that they also have a full bar and concession-style menu that includes quesadillas, pizzas and tacos. “Scotty’s has a smaller menu but just as good.”
In the kitchen of the Buoy Bar is Magan’s brother, Matthew, who creates and runs a seasonal menu filled with fresh seafood, such as steamers in white wine basil broth, mussels in marinara or in Buffalo sauce, or a special homemade lobster pizza, described as a gigantic pizza-style lobster roll.
“It’s a thick crust pizza with fresh arugula, lobster cream sauce and lots of lobster meat,” says Magan.
Matt was originally supposed to help in the kitchen, but he quickly took to the job of chef.
“Matt reads cooking magazines and does a lot of research on food. He’s doing a great job, ”she said.
Other favorites among customers include a grilled cheese sandwich with crab, bacon and always fresh fish of the day like swordfish, striped bass, plaice, salmon and scallops.
Asked about running the bar during Covid, Magan said they had to transform to make take out.
She says they were initially closed for a short time, but then had a tough conversion to take.
Magan explained that they had nothing ready to make take out. “Our bartenders became drivers because they needed work.”
She says during the summer of 2020 they offered boat service which helped as they didn’t have enough room inside the bar to properly move the tables away.
“We made our full menu for the boats in the summer, then for the winter we used igloos, heaters and globes, as the winter restrictions only allowed us four tables inside. We survived. “
She added that they had to buy all the little things, from on-the-go condiments like ketchup and mustard to packages of salt and pepper. “Takeout kept all of our employees employed and kept us in business. “
She says food costs across all areas have all risen due to the pandemic. “A case of chicken wings is more, scallops, cups, straws, gloves … everything has increased in price.”
However, she also says that commercially they are almost back to pre-pandemic levels, noting that they are “very weather dependent”.
Going forward, plans are in place to expand the bar kitchen to better serve customers.
“We’re a total family business that has essentially evolved from Scotty’s burger service to what we are now… a full-fledged restaurant. “
The Buoy Bar Waterfront Grill is located at 72 Bayside Dr. in Point Lookout. He can be reached at 516-432-3975 Visit at buoybarli.com.
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