For decades, the wooden building that once housed the Galley Ho restaurant stood only 18 feet from Peconic Bay on the small New Suffolk waterfront property at the end of New Suffolk Road.
But after Hurricane Sandy swept through and undermined the structure’s aging foundation and bulkhead that was supposed to protect the building from storm surges, members of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund have decided that it’s time to relocate the old Galley Ho.
The building won’t go too far — the plan is to find a spot on the now-preserved waterfront property about 50 feet away from the bay rather than 18 feet. Barbara Schnitzler, head of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund, said that the group is working with the town and other agencies to secure proper permits as they make the move.
“As soon as the gas lines are disconnected, which should be soon, the building will be lifted and moved back to a temporary spot while we determine the final location,” Schnitzler said on Tuesday. “We are still working on our site plans but we do know we want it to be 50 feet back from the bulkhead. It’s still sitting in an extreme flood zone.”
Representatives of the Waterfront Fund will meet with the Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 3 to discuss reinstating preexisting use of the Galley Ho building as a restaurant — something that Schnitzler said many people would like to see.
“From all the outreach we’ve done, people want to see a restaurant or café in the building, which will still have that same great view of the water,” she said.
The ZBA will also address the change of a lot line in regards to the sale of an acre of the waterfront property to Louis Moore Bacon, owner of Robins Island and head of Robins Island Holdings, LLC. Bacon, a noted hedge fund trader and head of Moore Capital Management, has proposed the creation of a maritime grassland preserve with a portion for seasonal parking and the addition of a small boat shed to an existing building on the property.
Schnitzler said that the Galley Ho building will be stabilized on a crib once it is moved to its temporary location and that restoration plans are in the works.
For more information contact Barbara Schnitzler at 917-379-5647 or go to www.newsuffolkwaterfront.org.