The owner of Bonnie Jean’s has sold the Southold restaurant back to its original owner, which will reopen today as Country Corner Café.
Originally opened in 1997 by Kelly Hunstein, Country Corner Café was sold in November 2010 to Jennilee Morris, a chef and entrepreneur who reopened the restaurant as Bonnie Jean’s. Ms. Morris sold the business back to Ms. Hunstein late last month.
“We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and serving the community,” Ms. Hunstein said.
She said offerings at Country Corner Café have been expanded from the original menu and now include things like a vegetarian section and Panini sandwiches. The restaurant’s ice cream parlor will be redesigned and ice cream cakes will be available for purchase on-site.
Pablo Toribio, who was executive chef at Country Corner Café before it closed three years ago, will return in that role, Ms. Hunstein added.
Ms. Morris cited exhaustion as the main reason she decided to sell the restaurant back to Ms. Hunstein. As the owner of Bonnie Jean’s, she also served as the eatery’s executive chef and operated a catering business, Grace and Grit, out of the restaurant.
“I wasn’t having fun anymore,” Ms. Morris said. “I sacrificed a lot and decided that I wanted a break.”
Before she opened Bonnie Jean’s, Ms. Morris was general manager at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. In 2010, she co-founded Long Island Coffee Roasters with Gregory Heinz. Earlier this year, Ms. Morris said, she walked away from the latter business because it was “too much.”
As far as future business ventures go, Ms. Morris said she is currently weighing a “couple opportunities” but plans to lay low for the moment.
“I’m not sure what my next move is,” she said. “I do love the North Fork and certainly want to continue to be a part of the future of it.
It feels great to hand the torch back to the Hunsteins,” she said. “They ran a wonderful and successful business for 13 years before I took over and I hope the community will continue to support them.”