On November 25, 1996, Joe Weiser accompanied a worried stranger to check up on his boat at a foreclosed marina on Shore Road.
The man was an investigator from an insurance company who had been assigned to follow up on a police interview about a tragic traffic accident Weiser had witnessed a week prior, and was relying on the nine-year Navy veteran's experience with boats.
On the experience, Weiser gleefully responded, "I have a book on it," and produced his own work, Joe and Jude. Weiser's book, marina, and restaurant are named for Jude the Apostle, the patron saint of "desparate situations and lost causes."
Nearly sixteen years later, Weiser is sitting in his new restaurant, The Waters Edge at Jude Thaddeus Landing. He said he instantly felt at home there and was able to obtain ownership despite tough financial times and little experience in the business.
the marina, which resembles the new establishment.
The restaurant at 74 Shore Road used to be Steamboat Landing, which opened in 1998 and was built to accomodate the short-lived Thomas Jefferson Paddle Wheel Boat. Weiser owned and operated that restaurant until 2002.
"Owning and operating both a restaurant and marina is demanding," said Weiser on his decision to sell. "I needed some of my life back."
However, Weiser says he became unhappy with the restaurant's direction, which ultimately lead to foreclosure on the property in 2011, and left the property vacant until its re-opening on June 15.
"Hopefully, we can erase the reputation the old restaurant received as a seasonal nightspot," he said. "You can't come in with Beverly Hills prices just because it's on the water with beautiful scenery - that's one image that I want to try to avoid."
The transformation is apparent. The bar has been moved from the center of the restaurant to the back and gained a view of the water. The outside tiki bar has been removed. In response to feedback that the old place was overpriced, Weiser said they have reduced prices on average by 20 percent.
The strategy has been implemented in hopes to expand business year-round as a family restaurant. One component is the restaurant's offer of a 1 1/2 pound lobster for $12 Monday through Thursday.
Weiser said he hopes his restaurant can share in a revival of business in the waterfront community, in a city he said he has grown attached to.
"I like this city. I think it has a lot of potential," Weiser said. "It certainly needs change - truth of the matter is that if Glen Cove doesn't bring some light industry and good business to offset some of the taxes, people won't be able to afford to live here. Having this place here, I think, is good for the city."