The owner of Patchogue’s popular Village Idiot Pub is retracing his steps.
John Sarno is going back 20 years and teaming up with an old bartender buddy, John Scally, to open a third Idiot location, this time in Lake Grove.
The two had worked together at Napper Tandy’s in Smithtown. Together they will be opening by far the largest Village Idiot yet.
It’s also being built in the same location that Sarno looked at about 10 years ago before deciding to open on East Main Street in Patchogue.
The 5,500-square-foot building at 2811 Middle Country Road near Centereach previously housed a Pomodorino, then a Taste of India. It’s probably best known for the eventually trouble-plagued Big Barry’s Steakhouse from the 1980s and 90s.
Despite its issues, Big Barry’s was also a popular local spot to grab quality food that was inexpensive. The Long Island-based chain was well known for its wing nights and Country nights that were highlighted by people sipping beer from cowboy boot mugs.
Sarno, 44, who remembers it all fondly, plans to bring some of those aspects back. He’s especially excited about those cowboy boot glasses from his youth.
“Country Nights will be returning” to Lake Grove, he vowed. “Boot mugs will be back.”
He’s also bringing back one of Big Barry’s speciality drinks, the Shotgun Blast.
Above all, having grown up in the area, Sarno said he knows there’s not much to eat beyond chain restaurants.
“I just think the place needs a neighborhood bar and grill, where you can get great food, great service and a friendly bartender instead of just going to the generic box stores,” he told GreaterPatchogue Thursday from his Village Idiot Irish Pub in Oakdale.
The Lake Grove location will be more geared a bit more toward families than the first two spots, but that’s not to say they won’t have live music on weekends and happy hour specials.
The food will be of the same quality, he said.
“It will be the same things” that have made the other locations popular, Sarno said.
Village Idiot Pub III will be able to hold up to 200 people, and will feature catering rooms and 30 flatscreen TVs on the walls. The space is currently being gutted and the hope is to open by summer’s end. Check back at GreaterPatchogue for more updates.
Top: Above is a courtesy rendering of what signage at the new location would look like.