Young entrepreneurs revive historic Patchogue building with opening of new restaurant

A group of young friends-turned-entrepreneurs is reviving the nearly 200-year-old building, formerly the Brickhouse Brewery, into a local brasserie.

Rachel Yonkunas

Jun 24, 2024, 9:55 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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Along Patchogue’s bustling Main Street sits one of the most historic buildings in the village. Its rich history is the catalyst for a new restaurant called Shands General.
In 1914, James G. Shand opened Shand’s Hardware Store, which sold to the farming and business communities. The Shand family continued the business until 1990. Credit: Patchogue-Medford Library
A group of young friends-turned-entrepreneurs is reviving the nearly 200-year-old building, formerly the Brickhouse Brewery, into a local brasserie.
“For a long time, people have always given support to what’s lived here,” said Julian Rizzo, the 25-year-old event director and part owner. “It’s really easy to be drawn to this building.”
Shands General restaurant pays homage to what the iconic building once was. It opened in 1840 as the J.S. Havens General Store. The owner, John S. Havens, was Patchogue’s postmaster and Brookhaven town supervisor.
In 1914, James G. Shand bought the building and it became Shand’s Hardware Store. The history is maintained in some of the original doors, ceilings and storied past.
In 1914, James G. Shand opened Shand’s Hardware Store, which sold to the farming and business communities. The Shand family continued the business until 1990. Credit: Patchogue-Medford Library
“It, for a long time, was a staple in the community,” Rizzo said. “We’ve seen it on Facebook, people leaving such nice comments about going there with their grandparents and whatnot. Our main priority is providing that hospitable experience.”
The restaurant is hosting its grand opening on June 26 after months of renovations. It sits below the State Room, a cocktail lounge and tasting room that Rizzo and her partners opened in 2023.
The restaurant will have a seasonal menu with fresh food that is locally sourced from nearby farms.
“These simpler steak frites, that approachable burger and those simple bowls of pasta, I think it does take a peek back in time,” said chef Francis Derby. “Working directly with the farms means you’ve got very small windows of time. We had asparagus planned for the opening menu, but we opened with summer squash because of the timing.”
It is believed that the landmark building was a stop on the Underground Railroad in the late 1800s. John Havens was descended from Long Island Quakers who were strong abolitionists.
“It was really a haven,” said Michele Cayea, head of community engagement at the Patchogue-Medford Library. “It was used, the basement, as a spot to safely move slaves during that time to freedom.”
The Patchogue-Medford Library worked with the owners to place Shands General on its electronic walking tour as part of the 100th anniversary of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. The interactive tour gives people the opportunity to step back in time and see what each location on the tour was like over a century ago.
The J.S. Havens General Store opened in 1840 by John S. Havens, former Patchogue Postmaster and Brookhaven Town Supervisor. Credit: Patchogue-Medford Library
Shands General restaurant will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.


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