Months of construction at the former site of Boulder Creek Restaurant on Nesconset Highway and Mount Pleasant Road has drawn local residents' interest and speculation on what's coming next. The answer: steak and sushi.
Work is underway on Insignia Prime Steak and Sushi, an upscale steakhouse whose owners believe they can find success where Boulder Creek failed.
"They are two extremely different steakhouse styles," said Ronald Johnston, general manager of Insignia. "This is pretty much like nothing Long Island has ever seen."
Boulder Creek, a Western-inspired, mountain lodge-themed chain restaurant did "extremely well" at the Route 347 location after it first opened for business in 1999, Johnston said. Over time, the Smithtown restaurant "just didn't pan out" according to Arthur Viana, one of Insignia's owners, who did not elaborate.
The chain closed the Smithtown location about four years ago, as well as many of its other locations in the region. Boulder Creek still has four restaurants on Long Island in Bay Shore, Franklin Square, Hicksville and Riverhead.
Boulder Creek's owners, restauranteurs Anthony Scotto and Mario Sbarro, ended their business partnership after it closed, and the building on Route 347 sat vacant until June 2011, when construction began on the new restaurant. Scotto remains an owner with three new partners, including Viana.
Viana said Insignia will be a high-end eatery and bar with an elaborate menu and wine selection featuring more than 500 labels. It will serve dinner seven days a week and offer catering, he said. One of its features will be a large bar designed to seat at least 35 people, separated from the dining area.
The building occupies the same footprint as the former Boulder Creek, but has been modified extensively. Insignia will have a lounge area and a garden area with outdoor seating, Johnston said, with a sushi bar in the main dining room. A complete valet parking service will be offered, he added.
Belvedere Construction of East Setauket is handling the construction and renovations of Insigna, which are on schedule to be finished in the beginning of November.
The restaurant’s opening is not set, but is expected to be in late November or early December, according to Viana.