The New Suffolk Waterfront Fund will host its 10th annual Art, Oysters, & Champagne event on Sunday, September 2, from 5 to 7 PM. Guests will enjoy fresh, local oysters, delicious hors d’oeuvres, North Fork sparkling wines, and a local artwork auction, all while overlooking the Peconic Bay.
The Waterfront provides some exciting history. From 1897 to 1905, it served as a base for the first U.S. Navy submarine trials.
Aiming to preserve its historic placement on the North Fork and fight large developers, the Peconic Land Trust bought the two-and-a-half-acre property in 2005.
The building and centerpiece to the Waterfront, Galley Ho, is a former marina shed built circa 1900. In its heyday, it was owned by Radell Oyster Company, a manufacturer of oyster shipping barrels. By the 1940s, it became a restaurant. For decades, the building saw its ups and downs, becoming a decrepit reminder of the past.
Then, in 2009, NSWF purchased the New Suffolk property, aiming to restore Galley Ho to its former glory. While efforts were postponed due to delays in funding and the impacts of Superstorm Sandy, Galley Ho finally re-opened its doors as a casual waterside restaurant, bridging the gap between yesteryear and modern-day North Fork.
One oyster company participating in Arts, Oysters, & Champagne is next-door neighbor Peeko Oysters, whose owner, Peter Stein, farms oysters out of Peconic Bay.
“It’s exciting for us that his boat is on a dock right off of our property line,” said Patricia Lowry, chair of the Waterfront Fund. “We’re serving oysters coming directly from that farm, and this the first year we’re able to serve them.”
The North Fork is a creative hub for artists, so it makes sense to have the event combine oyster shucking with art, said event chair Jack Armo. He noted, “The local oyster suppliers have been incredibly generous. And South Street Gallery in Greenport has been helping us recruit new talent for our art auction.”
To date, some of the art for auction has been donated by Nancy Ness, Amy Worth, Hans Gelb, Cecil Gregory, Enid Hatton, Frankie Neptune, Ron Barron, Helen Weinstein, Charles Winheld, Steve Berger, and Jean Betancourt. Also included in the auction is a one-week stay at Villa Tripoli in Umbra, Italy.
This is a rain or shine, tented event. Tickets are $85 in advance or $95 at the door, if available. Capacity is 150. Boat slips are available. Call 631-566-0806 to reserve a spot. The New Suffolk Waterfront Fund is located at 650 First Street in New Suffolk. Visit www.newsuffolkwaterfront.org.