Duryea’s Lobster Deck and Seafood Market, a Montauk mainstay for nearly 80 years, has been sold, according to owner Perry Duryea III.
Mr. Duryea said the sale is great news but brings some nostalgia with it, as he has been in the family business full time since 1974. He said Saturday happened to be his 40th anniversary of his first day at the wholesale seafood business.
The property had been up for sale since 2011, listed at $5.9 million, but Mr. Duryea said that was not the selling price. He would not say what the price was, or if it was higher or lower.
He said he expects the new owner, which he again declined to name, is likely going to introduce a high-end seafood restaurant there in the next several years. He said the process will take two to three years.
“It’s going to be a very positive transformation of the property,” he said. “The buyer has a very good vision for what is presently here. My wife, Wendy, and I would not have sold the property unless we felt the buyer was someone who would take it to a higher level. It’s going to be very dramatic when it’s done.”
He said the new business won’t be a ferry and it won’t be a nightclub or a chain store.
The Lobster Deck and seafood business will remain through 2014, and Mr. Duryea will continue to manage the restaurant, he said.
“We’re going to run the operation just as it is presently, as the Deck, the seafood and the ice, and after 2014, we’ll see how things go,” he said. “I’m 70-percent happy and satisfied, and at the same time I was born in Montauk and grew up here as a little boy, 7 or 8 years old, playing here and then working here as a teen. When you have that kind of a situation, there has to be some nostalgia.”
He said the house he grew up in was also a part of the sale. He said the house originally belonged to his grandfather, Perry Duryea Sr., who came to Montauk in the 1920s and started the distribution business in the 1930s. His father, Perry Duryea Jr., who was a politician, came back in 1949 after World War II, and he, Perry Duryea III, came back in 1974 after finishing graduate school. He said the three generations equal 85 years in Montauk.
“It’s funny, certain parts of it have gone very fast,” he said, mentioning that he got married, had two children, battled cancer and lost his father over the course of the years he worked there. “All in all, it was very happy.”
Mr. Duryea said he’s not going away and he has other avenues to explore—he had been in the process of getting his master’s degree in mental health counseling about four years ago when he had to stop because of his cancer treatments. He also owns a commercial property at Montauk Harbor and is president of Montauk Airport Inc.
The Duryeas’ 9-acre property has 650 feet of shoreline on Fort Pond Bay and underwater rights on both sides of a 200-foot pier, according to its listing on The Corcoran Group’s website.
The buildings are about 8,000 square feet, which includes lobster tank rooms, seafood packing areas, retail seafood area, working coolers and freezers, office space and two retail shops. There is also a 1,400-square-foot deck that seats 70. The Lobster Deck is known for its view of the sunset and its lobster rolls, lobster salads and steamed lobsters.
Perry B. Duryea & Son Inc. has been in the wholesale seafood business since the 1930s, catching and selling live Maine and Canadian lobster, fresh fish, Long Island hard clams, and Maine shellfish.
Mr. Duryea said he and his family are working on putting together a video about the family’s business and legacy.
“Some of the commentary that we get is that it is the end of an era,” he said. “But this is a long-time institution that will carry forward.”