For many decades since the 1950’s, the old Pier One Restaurant in Montauk was always THE place to go for early morning breakfasts. With its perfect location in the heart of the Montauk Docks, overlooking the marinas and harbor, Pier One was popular with the fishing crowd. It was also a fun, casual, old-fashioned kind of eatery with local charm.
Ed Kenny, owner of the Tipperary Inn, has lived across the street from the old Pier One for decades, and remembers how it used to be owned by Lester and Marie Behan, Tom Reilly, Marge Sullivan, Jimmy and Peter Hewitt, and others.
“This place was always open early in the morning, when it was dark, but it was lit up like a Christmas tree, when everyone came in for breakfast,” he said.
Now many years later, the old Pier One has changed hands but still has kept its character—a sort of fishing shack, with its long, narrow windows and its soft gold and burgundy exterior. On June 27, it opened back up as, “Craftburger East,” a concept of its new owner, Chris Panzeca who also owns the popular, “Craftburger by Ariana” restaurant in Huntington. This a much larger and fancier burger restaurant.
His idea in Montauk, is to re-create the early morning breakfasts, and to also have lunches and dinners around a theme of great, creative burgers, and casual food.
“Everyone loves burgers, and these are not just any burgers, they are 100% organic, grass-fed or certified black Angus beef,” he said. “These burgers have special spices—they can stand on their own, even without added toppings.”
Of course, for the health-conscious, you can also get turkey and veggie burgers, or even the more exotic Coconut Shrimp, Lobster, Swordfish and Crab Cake Burgers.
Panzeca is excited about his new “Express Breakfast,” which starts between 5 and 7 a.m. for the local fishermen, and includes a $4.00 bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and also a $6.00 pancake special. The regular breakfasts continue till later in the morning, and include such creative meals as the Pancake Burger, French Toast Burger, and Diamond Dave Eggs Benny Burger. They also have Express grab bags to go, for the fishermen to take on the boat, the beach or back to the motel. These consist of a ham and cheese hero or roast beef and cheese hero, chips and a soda, all for $10.
What goes better with burgers than French fries, and Craftburger East has thick cut Steak fries and sweet potato fries. Also onion rings and chicken fingers. For a healthier option, they even have “Vegan Steak,” consisting of grilled Portobello mushrooms, and a Vegetarian Platter with hummus and cooked vegetables.
There are also fresh Greek and Tabouli Salads, and a burger can be added to any salad. They have an assortment of fresh-squeezed juices—even the “Hangover Special” of apple, pineapple and lemon, which is good after the Montauk night scene!
Speaking of the Montauk night scene, when you get the munchies after partying this summer, and there’s no place open late at night, Craftburger East is open until the wee hours, especially on weekends! So you can grab a burger and a milkshake. They specialize in the best milkshakes and ice cream sodas…piled high with your favorite toppings.
Ctaftburger East has sinful desserts…including brownies, cookies, apple pie and cheesecake, and they have great Italian ices! There is also a Craft Kids menu, with kids burgers, grilled cheese and chicken fingers, so bring the whole family.
You will always have fun at Craftburger, where the staff is young and friendly. Hermes cooks the breakfasts, and Roger and Kiona cook the rest. You can sit at cozy tables and counters inside, or outside on picnic tables with umbrellas, overlooking the boats.
See you for breakfast or late-night snack at Craftburger East, located at 440 West Lake Drive in Montauk. They even deliver to your home, boat, beach, business or motel. Call 631-668-8075 for delivery. For the restaurant, call 631-483-5959, or visit www.craftburgereast.com