As the oldest standing restaurant in Patchogue, the Pine Grove Inn draws culinary inspiration from an enduring and unique history.
The landmark Pine Grove Inn building dates back to 1910, named for the original log cabin structure built from the pine trees characteristic of Long Island’s south shore. In those days, Patchogue was a bustling commercial center for fishing, shipbuilding, oyster farming, as well as a popular vacation spot for city folk. The cozy 14-room hotel and eatery soon became a fixture in Patchogue, popular among locals and vacationers alike.
During the Prohibition Era, legend holds that Pine Grove was a hotspot for rum-runners and bootleggers, who would smuggle contraband up the Swan River from nearby Fire Island and store it at the inn.
In 1946, the Pine Grove Inn was purchased by the Buttner family and converted into a full-time, German-style restaurant. The Buttners had immigrated to the United States from Germany, and dreamed of opening a restaurant of their own. After some big renovations, their hard work had paid off — business was booming, and Pine Grove became the go-to place on the south shore for schlachtplatte, schnitzel, and other traditional German fare.
The Pine Grove Inn changed hands once more in 1957, when the Buttners sold it to fellow German immigrants Erna and Rudy Bernreiter, themselves experienced restaurateurs. For the next several decades, they continued the tradition of serving up classic German favorites to generations of Long Islanders.
In 2012, as Superstorm Sandy swept over the south shore of Long Island, the Pine Grove Inn experienced severe flooding that would put the restaurant on a 4-year hiatus. But all was not lost — inspired by his own fond memories of the Pine Grove Inn, Michael Goberdhan bought the property and spent a year renovating and rehabilitating the property, officially re-opening in 2016.
Today, the Pine Grove Inn retains the same charm from those early years, treating diners to beautiful waterfront views, great cocktails, and delicious food. You can still find those traditional German dishes that hark back to the Buttner/Bernreiter days, like Classic Saurbraten: slowly marinated pot roast served with tender red cabbage and a potato pancake, prepared just like it was in the 40’s. The revamped menu also makes room for new history, with dishes that preserve Patchogue’s reputation as a top culinary destination on Long Island.