An iconic restaurant and music venue will soon be closing its doors.
BAYPORT—The Grey Horse Tavern announced on Friday, May 3, that it would be closing up the restaurant within the coming weeks.
“This week we are sad to say that our last meal will be served in early June,” the owners, Irene Dougal and Linda Ringhouse, wrote on Facebook. “After 11 successful years in Bayport, we have decided to sell the business.”
The Grey Horse first opened its doors in 2008. Since then, the location has become known for its farm-to-table menu and music stage, which has catered to local artists.
“The decision has been a difficult one for us, as we recognize a deep appreciation for the hard work and commitment of our dedicated employees,” Dougal and Ringhouse wrote. “We are grateful for the loyal customers, a mix of locals and visitors, who have supported the business for over 100 years. We look back with pride, having stayed true to our initial intention… renovating this historic building, creating a warm and welcoming ‘community house’ for so many to gather and enjoy made-from-scratch meals, great beer and spirits, and amazing live music.”
Andy Falco, a Sayville-based musician, has performed at the Grey Horse numerous times. His most recent was Sunday night with his brother, Jack Falco, and Buddy Merriam. Falco explained that he was recently out “on the road” in North Carolina, but was able to “do something last minute.”
“There’s going to be a lot of music there in the coming weeks,” he said, regarding the venue. Falco will be out touring with his band, The Infamous Stringdusters, but hopes to visit the Grey Horse whenever he can. He said it’s the kind of place where local music artists feel free to play what they want. “There’s no place like it.”
This publication spoke to Falco earlier this year about his musical career and Long Island roots in the article, “The road goes on forever,” published on Jan. 3, 2019.
Mark Rios, a drummer from Bay Shore, said that some of his favorite memories of playing live music have taken place within the tavern’s walls. “I thank you for all the great memories, great food, and for giving so many local musicians the chance to play in what is easily one of the best sounding rooms on Long Island,” Rios commented on the venue’s social media page.
“The business and building will remain up for sale with the hopes that a future buyer will want to continue the tradition and lift up the legacy of this building as a long-standing institution in Bayport,” said Dougal and Ringhouse.
Before the current owners, another restaurant had many successful years at that location, The Bayport House. The Grey Horse’s name reportedly comes from a previous establishment in the same building, which has operated as a tavern since its completion in 1868. About 60 years ago now, when it was operated by Hans and Katie Rohde, the owners’ grey horse would sometimes be brought into the bar and join the festivities, hence the most recent name.
“We look forward to celebrating the next few weeks with all of you in pure GHT style – great people, great food, great drinks and some great music jams,” Dougal and Ringhouse concluded.
There will be an open house on Monday, May 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. for potential buyers. The realtor, Kensington Company, said all reasonable offers for the 4,600-square-foot restaurant and 31,500-square-foot property will be considered.