Sure, summer has just been kicked off, but those of us on the South Shore already have something to look forward to next season: this fall, the Bohlsen’s Open Table 2015 Diner’s Choice-winning seafood seafood and sushi concept restaurant, H2O, will open in East Islip.
Former patrons of the now-closed Beachtree Café across from the charming Brookwood Hall Park will find the building much changed by the grand opening. Although many of its historic characteristics will be tastefully preserved when possible, owner Michael Bohlsen shares that he and his team are hard at work to bring its amenities up to modern-day needs.
In addition to setting it up for wifi for its patrons and updating the kitchen and its equipment for the staff, the building will also benefit from an overall aesthetic overhaul.
“We are doing a complete renovation; we’re gutting the entire interior and exterior,” says Bohlsen. “What you will see in late 2016 will have very little resemblance to what you saw for many years at the Beachtree,” which was a much more casual, homey style of family-friendly café that specialized in accessible, affordable meals.
In its place, for those unfamiliar with H2O, will be a upscale restaurant that focuses on, in Bohlsen’s words, “seasonal, sustainable, local-when-possible fish; top-line sushi; and some fantastic shellfish.” The Smithtown location already does this exceedingly well, but this encore location won’t shy from bucking the formula a bit to potentially outshine its more established sister restaurant.
“There will be many dishes and service aspects at East Islip that will mimic Smithtown, but there will also be some individual dishes, drinks, and service aspects that reflect the culture and clientele of the South Shore. We will have many of the same dishes, but also quite a few unique to East Islip,” Bohlsen said when asked how closely the experience will mirror the original. When pressed for greater detail, he coyly jokes, “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you!”
Will this be a sneak peek worth dying for? With a reputation for excellence across the Bohlsen Restaurant Group’s expanding empire—including their first out-of-state venture, Prime in Stamford, Connecticut—I would say it just might be.