MAIN STREET RESTAURANTS
A Look Back-Main Street Restaurants
By the 1980s, the Main Streets along Long Island’s South Shore were becoming gentrified by the growth of more modern shopping centers opening on the Sunrise Highway.
With The Post Office Café booming, the Lessings migrated east along Montauk Highway to the little town of Bay Shore and opened their second Main Street Restaurant in the town's original fire house. The youth of Suffolk County instantly made the Firehouse the most popular young club on all of Long Island. Thirty years later, the Lessings purchased the historic Southside Hotel, Bay Shore’s original "local joint" across the street from the Firehouse.
History will record that Lessing’s Main Street restaurant concept ignited a revival movement that has brought these old historic Long Island Main Streets back to life.
When the original library closed in Farmingdale, Long Island, the Lessings bought the building and opened another Main Street restaurant, The Library Café. Each restaurant's success drove the Lessings along the same strategic path; find and purchase historic Long Island buildings that were icons to the local clientele. They opened Maxwell's on Main Street in Islip and bought the Huntington landmark, Finnegan’s, perhaps the most "local" of all their Main Street pubs and cafés.
Today, Main Street Restaurants proudly proclaims to their ever growing clientele "#drinklocal" and their guests happily follow suit.