The Handlebar Restaurant, once featured on FOX's Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Gordon Ramsay, is long gone and its successor, .
The troubled location has its history, but James Dunn and Linda Metcalf, the owners of the new , aren't concerned with the past and are looking to provide great food and a friendly atmosphere in Mt. Sinai for years to come.
"We want to bring it back to where it used to be where it’s a family-friendly atmosphere," Dunn said. "That’s why we separated the rooms again. This way you can come in here, sit down with your family on one side, and we still have the sports bar, where it’s going to be a little loud because it’s a bar."
Dunn, who grew up in Miller Place, has owned bars for years and now will be joined by Metcalf as co-owner for the first time. He was initially looking at a place in Middle Island but was having trouble with the seating capacity. The landlord called him about this location, which he knew of while growing up in the area. A deal was struck and the bar opened, but not without its bumps in the road.
"We opened up May 25 after a five month ordeal trying to fix the place back up," Dunn said. "It was all torn apart. We had to renovate the whole place and we had to work with the Fire Marshal."
Now, after a few months, business has been good, according to Dunn. The tavern and grill focuses on quality food to help avoid anymore "kitchen nightmares."
"We have jumbo wings, not the little ones," he said. "Our burgers are made from fresh chop meat every day, the guys in the back take all the food to order, the quality of food is better."
The bar features Happy Hour every day and an especially unique item: a shuffleboard table.
"Nobody carries them anymore," Dunn said. "I grew up around them with my father being in the fire dept and I had one years ago in my first bar and it’s been working out for us.
"I’ve stayed away from the loud music, we’ve got a little bit of an older crowd here and I want to keep it that way."
Bench Warmer's has a complete menu and more information available on its website.