For years, Savino's Hideaway was a family favorite on the corner of North Country Road and Pipe Stave Hollow road in Mt. Sinai.
The past few years, however, the restaurant remained dark as the Sguera family worked through a lawsuit and property issues in a fight to reopen. Now, the Hideaway has opened and is offering many of the same menu favorites that made them so popular years ago, with a new upscale feel inside.
Maria Carson, daughter of Savino Sguera, who first opened the restaurant in 1976, is looking forward to the response they get from old customers returning to the same great food with a new, modern look.
"We want to keep the same concept of family where the prices are reasonable, but we made the feeling of the place more upscale but still inviting," Carson said.
The family originally moved to Mt. Sinai in '76 from Nassau County. After years of running pizza places, Savino Sguera looked to purchase a business with more property. They found the Hideaway, packed up, and moved.
Carson, who was eight at the time the restaurant first opened, worked with her younger brother Joseph in the kitchen making garlic bread and pounding veal, while her oldest brother Leo, then 15, worked closely with her father cooking and preparing meals.
"In the beginning it was very difficult," Carson said. "When he bought the restaurant he didn’t know much about the surrounding area, didn’t know much about the competition and the place was very formal, so they kind of took everything down, made it as simple as possible and made it a family restaurant.
"Word of mouth spread. It took a while and it was very hard for them in the beginning, but we worked hard together as a family."
After selling in 1998, the family got the restaurant back three years ago, but had to wait to get permits lined up with the town. They got their liquor license in August, had a private opening over the weekend and officially opened to the public on Aug. 28.
The menu is very similar, Carson said, but there are a few twists to accomodate for the times, such as new salads and pizzas.
"We never did pizzas before because when my father came here he was done with pizza, and at that time pizza wasn’t really served in full scale restaurants," she said. "We thought it would be nice for people that want to come in and maybe have a small pie. That’s why we did the lounge too, so people could come in and have a few drinks and some appetizers without having to order a full meal."
Those who come in and don't find their favorite on the menu can call ahead and request a dish along with their reservation, and it will be made to order. They also plan on once again doing private parties in the back room.
"A lot of the traditons we are going to continue, but with new twists such as the pizzas and new salads," Carson said. "We have some new items but overall the majority of the menu is the same. As we evolve and learn our customer base, we’re going to keep changing."