06/06/14 10:00am
06/06/2014 10:00 AM
Plans to move and expand the Galley Ho restaurant were the subject of a public hearing Monday.(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Plans to move and expand the Galley Ho restaurant were the subject of a public hearing Monday.(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

For the moment, the debate over the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund’s plan to relocate and renovate the Galley Ho restaurant is something to admire.

Too often, when a potential issue arises in our communities it fails to attract attention from the community at large. It’s often the usual suspects or the NIMBYs who have their voices heard by town officials, while their neighbors tune things out and fail to participate in the conversation.  (more…)

06/03/14 10:17am
06/03/2014 10:17 AM
Plans to move and expand the Galley Ho restaurant were the subject of a public hearing Monday.(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Plans to move and expand the Galley Ho restaurant were the subject of a public hearing Monday.(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

One by one they approached the podiums Monday night.

Some neighbors spoke in support of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund’s plan for the relocation and renovation of the Galley Ho restaurant. Others spoke passionately against it.

On several occasions during the Southold Town Planning Board hearing on the proposal, New Suffolk was described as a “community divided.”  (more…)

05/30/14 10:00am
05/30/2014 10:00 AM
The former Galley Ho across the street from Legends and Summer Girl boutique on First Street’s New Suffolk Waterfront Fund land. Plans to move and expand the restaurant have run into resistance from nearby business owners and residents. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The former Galley Ho across the street from Legends and Summer Girl boutique on First Street’s New Suffolk Waterfront Fund land. Plans to move and expand the restaurant have run into resistance from nearby business owners and residents. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Southold Town Planning Board members are holding several high profile public hearings on Monday evening for restaurants proposed across Southold Town. (more…)

05/29/14 7:00am
05/29/2014 7:00 AM
(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The former Galley Ho across the street from Legends and Summer Girl boutique on First Street’s New Suffolk Waterfront Fund land. Plans to move and expand the restaurant have run into resistance from nearby business owners and residents. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

To the editor:

In speaking with many people since the May 17 New Suffolk Waterfront Fund public information meeting, the one thing that has come up every time is concern about another restaurant in New Suffolk. When applying for a permit to renovate the Galley Ho, we were told that the word “restaurant” had to be used. We could not say “cafe.” We could not say “snack bar.”

The town requires the word “restaurant” for any establishment that sells any type of food product! The New Suffolk Waterfront Fund is cognizant of the importance in protecting the image of the waterfront here. We are not demolishing buildings on the site. We are preserving and protecting the structures.

The final usage and intensity is yet to be determined. As a member of the board of directors, I appreciate the input received at the May 17 meeting and look forward to answering the questions received that day and at another community meeting to be held in July.

Lauren Grant, New Suffolk

Ms. Grant serves on the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund Inc. board of directors, is a past president of the New Suffolk Civic Association and a past president of the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

11/24/12 8:00am
11/24/2012 8:00 AM

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | New Suffolk Waterfront Fund chairwoman Barbara Schnitzler outside the former Galley Ho restaurant.

The old Galley Ho in New Suffolk might as well have had a bull’s eye painted on its eastern side as Hurricane Sandy barrelled down on the North Fork nearly three weeks ago.

The hurricane tide battered the century-old former restaurant, now owned by the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund, a nonprofit group that had planned to use the Galley Ho and its surrounding acreage for public access to the water.

The storm tore away a wall of the building’s kitchen and a wooden boardwalk between the building and a bulkheaded boat basin, then ripped in beneath the building, undermining its cinder block foundation. The Southold Town building department responded by tacking an orange notice to the building’s front door, warning that it was unsafe for gawkers to enter.

The waterfront fund has taken the damage in stride, said the group’s chairwoman, Barbara Schnitzler, who took a reporter on a walk-through of the site.

The fund hired a crew to tear off an addition to the building that was undermined in the storm and clean up debris strewn about, filling three 40-yard dumpsters before last week’s nor’easter in an attempt to keep debris from ending up on neighboring properties.

The waterfront fund has also contacted Davis Construction, a house-moving company in Westhampton Beach, about moving the Galley Ho back from the water and shoring it up on metal cribbing while the group decides where to ultimately place the structure.

“Our engineer says the building is structurally good. We want to keep it going,” said Ms. Schnitzler. “We are going to make it stronger and safer for the duration.”

But all this work requires money, and money is one thing the bootstrap nonprofit has always had to work hard to come by.
Before Sandy hit, the group was just about to mail out a letter soliciting contributions; members quickly added an insert after the hurricane to let donors know how much more dire the situation has become.

The initial site cleanup cost about $7,000, said Ms. Schnitzler, and moving the Galley Ho to the cribbing and then again to its ultimate resting place will cost another $17,000.

The waterfront fund had already received permits to restore the bulkhead surrounding the boat basin before the storm, but will need to spend more to make it safe since Sandy further undermined the bulkhead. That work is expected to begin later this month at a cost of about $140,000.

In addition, site plan approval from the Southold Planning Board will be needed before deciding where to put the Galley Ho, but Ms. Schnitzler said they plan to keep it far enough back from the water to avoid damage from future storms. Any structure within 100 of the water would also need approval from the Town Trustees.

The fund had only liability insurance on the building, but is applying for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration specifically for damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Ms. Schnitzler said the exact history of the Galley Ho is not well known, but the building is probably about 100 years old. It is believed it might once have been a barge and also been used to make shipping barrels for Peconic Bay oysters.

Before 1963, it stood near the town beach on Jackson Street, just three blocks from its current location, where it was a bayfront diner known affectionately as the Coney Island Building.

It was renamed the Galley Ho after it was moved to the current site at the end of New Suffolk Avenue. The building is registered with the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.

The building can’t be used as a restaurant without a Zoning Board variance, since current zoning doesn’t permit restaurants in the marine zone. The fund has been using it as a meeting space and renting it out for community events. The organization is considering filing a ZBA application to permit its use as a small eatery in the future.

Ms. Schnitzler hopes that after the Galley Ho is moved, the town will designate it a local landmark.

“It’s really served well as a community center,” she said. “We have a chance now to fix it for good.
“We’ve learned to be very patient and take things in stride,” she added, referring to the seven years fund members spent trying to create a public space for the community. “In the end, we’re pretty optimistic. We have great community support and volunteers.”

[email protected]

10/18/10 4:51pm
10/18/2010 4:51 PM


RANDEE DADDONA FILE PHOTO A stretch of the 3.5 acres the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund plans to purchase.


The New Suffolk Waterfront Fund is ready to purchase 3.5 acres of prime land overlooking Cutchogue Harbor after securing a short-term loan for $200,000 from The Conservation Fund to cover the gap between the  money the group has raised and the property’s $2.4 million price tag.
The group announced it was ready to make the purchase at a party for its donors and volunteers at the former Galley Ho restaurant on the waterfront property Saturday night. The group’s chair, Barbara Schnitzler, said that more than 500 people have donated to the fund and that many members have already pledged to help pay down the 18-month loan.
The property, which is at the end of New Suffolk Avenue at the scenic center of the small former scalloping community, was a former marina and boatyard, as well as the site of the country’s first U.S. Navy submarine base. The Peconic Land Trust purchased the land from the Raynor family in 2005 and has been holding it for the Waterfront Fund, which was in the process of receiving its non-profit status and was not yet able to begin fund-raising at that time. The Land Trust had given the Waterfront Fund until this December to raise the money to take control of the property.
“They’ve been great.  The Land Trust has mentored us through this, leant us the money and gave us time to start our plan. They’ve been our partner,” said Ms. Schnitzler. “Now they’re going to use the money to go do another project someplace else.”
The group plans to preserve the waterfront’s beauty and historic nature and support environmentally sustainable public access and recreational, educational and commercial activities on the site.
The Waterfront Fund has estimated that it will cost between $60,000 and $70,000 annually to maintain the property, and is now looking for volunteers with expertise in program development and fund-raising to help sustain the organization for years to come.
This past summer, the Waterfront Fund operated some slips at the former marina behind the Galley Ho and used part of the property for small boat storage. They also ran a community vegetable garden and put picnic benches and barbecue grills on the beach.
“We want to make sure how we develop it is consistent with our mission,” Ms. Schnitzler said.
[email protected]