The Milleridge Inn, the Jericho catering hall with a storied past and an uncertain future, has apparently found a new operator that will keep it open in 2016 and beyond.
According to multiple sources, the inn’s owner, Kimco Realty, has selected The Dover Group to take over the day-to-day operations of the catering hall, cottage and village shops. The new operators will take over Jan. 1, effectively saving the jobs of all the inn’s employees and preserving the memories of countless Long Islanders.
Sheila Doherty, who runs the “Save the Milleridge” Facebook page, said she was thrilled when she heard the inn will be saved from former operator Owen Smith on Friday, Nov. 27.
“I knew the many thousands of Milleridge supporters would be [thrilled] as well,” she said. “The Milleridge Inn is an integral part of our community’s past and present. So much of Long Island’s history has been destroyed in the name of ‘progress.’ I believe the saving of the Milleridge Inn may be the turning point for the preservation of Long Island’s remaining historical treasures.”
Smith’s family owned and operated the property for more than 50 years before selling it to Kimco Realty earlier this year for $7.5 million.
When the real estate developer purchased the iconic property, rumors swirled among concerned residents that the inn would be demolished in favor of retail. Kimco held a public meeting in September assuring attendees that it was searching for new operators that would preserve the history of the inn.
The Dover Group runs a number of catering halls and restaurants on the island, including the Coral House in Baldwin, Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park and Maliblue Oyster Bar in Lido Beach.
Though several sources confirmed Dover Group as the new operator, officials from the group chose not to comment. Kimco also stopped short of saying any new operator was selected at all.
“The media is getting ahead of itself. Kimco has had discussions with several potential tenants but nothing has been consummated,” said David Bujnicki, Kimco’s vice president of investor relations and communications. “The company continues to seek another qualified operator for the Milleridge Inn and once an agreement with a new tenant is finalize, we will be happy to share these details.”