The historic barn at the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund site.
The historic barn at the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund site.

The New Suffolk Civic Association has unveiled the results of a survey on the future of the New Suffolk Waterfront mailed to 261 residents in August, and few seem to favor the idea of a full-scale restaurant in the Galley Ho building.

The results of the survey were presented in a community meeting at the New Suffolk School on Sept. 13.

The survey was answered by 123 full-time and 44 part-time residents of New Suffolk, 72 of whom live in the “grid” section of cross streets that make up the downtown of the tiny hamlet. Ninety of the respondents live outside of the grid.

The New Suffolk Waterfront Fund, a non-profit which owns the two-acre property that makes up the heart of downtown New Suffolk, currently has an application before the town planning board to reopen the Galley Ho as a 66-seat restaurant, which has created a rift in the community among neighbors who oppose the project and those who would like to see the restaurant reopened.

Of the respondents to the survey, 87 said a full restaurant in the Galley Ho building would be “undesireable,” while 37 said it would be “good” and 20 said it would be “ok.”

The most popular option, a mixed-use community facility with a snack bar window or counter and some seating, got 69 “good” votes and 38 votes each for “undesireable” and “ok.”

Sixty-three people said a café with a more informal, modest menu would be “good,” while 49 said it would be undesireable and 31 said it would be ‘ok.”

The option of a mixed-use building with no food service at all received 59 “good” votes, 68 “undesireable” votes and 19 “ok” votes, while a mixed use building with a snack bar window only received 62 “ok” votes, 51 “undesireable” votes and 25 “good” votes.

The vast majority of survey respondents said they were in favor of small fundraising events, open to all, inside the Galley Ho, with the greatest number of people saying they’d like to see one to four such events per year.

Most respondents also said they were in favor of large fundraising events outside on the property, such as the Chowderfest and the 5K race, while they were opposed by an 84 to 69 vote to outside private tented events such as weddings, reunions and conventions.

The full results of the survey are online here.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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