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Crazy Beans owners look to open deli at former Harbourfront site

The Harbourfront Deli has served its final customers, but fans of the business might be happy to learn of future plans for the Greenport site. 

Tim and Callie Martino, owners of the nearby Crazy Beans café, plan to lease the deli space from the new owner.

Perry Angelson closed the Harbourfront and The Loft Restaurant Sunday, May 14, and sold the Front Street building last Thursday. He has owned the deli for nearly three decades and opened the second-floor restaurant 11 years ago.

“It’s mixed emotions,” he said in a telephone interview Friday, adding that he’s looking forward to retirement. “You’re excited for the next chapter, but you’ll miss the customers. It’s like a double-edged sword, but it’s good. It’s a part of life.”

Broker Hal Zwick of Town and Country Real Estate said the building’s new owners are Jeff and Shari Zuckerman of Manhattan. The final sale price has not been disclosed, but the building was listed at $1.8 million.

Mr. Martino is scheduled to appear at a Greenport Village Planning Board meeting Thursday to discuss their plans for the deli space. It was only last week that they noticed the for lease sign at the site and they jumped at the opportunity.

“We’re still going to keep it a family deli,” Mr. Martino said. “I’m really excited to make a good Italian sandwich.”

Mr. Martino said the new deli, which has not yet been named, would also feature some dishes from Crazy Beans but in a more “to-go” form. The deli will offer Crazy Beans-style breakfast sandwiches and the couple said they’re excited to make it a “good hometown deli.”

This is the second time the Martinos will take over at a location previously owned by Mr. Angelson. They opened Crazy Beans last summer at the former Coronet Luncheonette, which he sold in June.

“It was a nice run,” Mr. Angelson said of working in the restaurant industry. “I’m going to miss doing it, but it’s time to move on.”

He said he’s seen the village change “tremendously” during his decades as a proprietor, but the changes in the area are for the better.

These include the most recent anticipated additions to Greenport’s culinary landscape: the Village Cheese Shop, Goldberg’s Famous Bagels, Hampton Chocolate Factory and a Mediterranean eatery called The Olive Branch Café. Also in the future for village foodies are PORT, from the owners of Shelter Island’s SALT, at the former Blue Canoe; a new eatery at the former Scrimshaw location from Frank DeCarlo, owner of the rustic Italian restaurant Peasant in Nolita; and Andy’s, a joint venture of village Trustee Doug Roberts and bartender Andy Harbin, who has worked at Sophie’s in Southold, Legends in New Suffolk and the Frisky Oyster in Greenport, which will move into the former Rhumb Line on Front Street.

“There’s a lot more new restaurants coming in, which will make it a little bit harder,” Mr. Angelson said. “But competition is good, so we’ll see what happens. I guess that’s something I don’t have to worry about anymore.”

Although the recent sale of the Harbourfront Deli and The Loft restaurant marks the beginning of retirement for Mr. Angelson, he said he doesn’t believe it’ll be permanent, rather a pause to “catch my breath.”

“When you go for 30 years working all this time, it’s so hard to just stop,” the East Marion resident added. “We’re still going to be around, we’re not going anywhere.”

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