15 Sep 2014
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DoLittle's Closes Doors After 15 Years

Father-daughter-owned pub and restaurant note chain restaurants, down economy as main reasons; may pursue other options in the future.

DoLittle's Closes Doors After 15 Years

The ' Cheers' of Mattituck Plaza -  a quaint and homey pub and restaurant where the staff knew most everyone's name - served up its last drink and cooked up its last meal on Saturday night.

"We stayed open as long as we could," said co-owner Dave Sailor. "But business went down. Our lease expired at the end of March. We had a friendly parting of ways. But I'm 67. I sign another 10-year lease and I'll be 105 by the time that's over."

The restaurant originally opened up 15 years ago under previous ownership. Sailor and his daughter, Sharon, took it over 10 years ago and after a few boom years to start, noticed a tapering off after a string of chain restaurants on Route 58 in Riverhead started to build up around the middle part of the 2000s.

"It used to be coming off the Long Island Expressway, the Elbow Room would be the first restaurant you'd hit," Sailor said. "The second one was this."

The restaurant held a loyal cast of regulars - "everybody knew everybody's idiosyncrasies," Sailor said - but when casual diners started to cut back on their meals out over the past couple years, the restaurant really noticed a drop in business, said Sharon Sailor.

In addition to the father-daughter owners, Sharon Sailor's son Paul Drum was also known as the restaurant's "heart and soul," even to keep the restaurant afloat.

Adding to the Cheers-style environment at DoLittle's, Drum admitted, "They've fired me like 50 times."

The Sailors praised their staff for staying with them until the end after they gave the crew a month's notice that they were closing.

Moving forward, the Sailors are unsure if or when they're going to open up another place for now. Sharon said she'll "leave the headaches to someone else for the summer. Then hopefully we'll do something else."

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