The perpetually crowded Toast Coffeehouse is opening a third location — this time in downtown Bay Shore.
Toast owner and founder Terence Scarlatos is looking to open this spring in the vacant building that last housed Hemisphere at Gibson Street and Park Avenue South.
Scarlatos and his wife, Jennifer, opened the first Toast in Port Jefferson in 2002, then expanded into Patchogue in December 2015.
“I always felt the breakfast place becomes the center of a community, where people get that morning cup of coffee, something to eat, and start their day in the right mood,” Scarlatos said. “For me it’s always been about community and people, and filling a need.”
Each Toast location serves only breakfast and lunch and is made available for private parties in the evenings.
The existing locations are exceptionally popular.
It’s not atypical for people to wait up to 45 minutes midweek. Weekend waits can top 90 minutes, though staffers suggest people use the nowait app so diners can do something else until their table is ready.
Scarlatos said he thought the crowds would taper off in Patchogue after the initial buzz of Toast’s opening.
“But it just kept getting busier and busier,” he said. “We far exceeded our expectations. Our style and our menu were really well received. Then it became about maintaining our quality while doing high-volume cooking.”
In Patchogue, Scarlatos worked for about a year to transform a large antique store into a 4,000-square-foot West Coast-style coffeehouse, which is more like a diner than a Starbucks.
The building in Bay Shore is already outfitted for a restaurant.
“It doesn’t need a renovation,” he said. “Just some redecorating. It’s similar in size and the kitchen is a similar setup to what we have in Patchogue.”
The Bay Shore Toast Coffeehouse will have a full liquor license — think Bloody Mary bar — and a look that’s all its own.
But for those who have been to Patchogue or Port Jefferson, it will still feel like Toast.
And, he’s already familiar with the Bay Shore area.
Not only does Scarlatos — a Hauppauge native and 1991 St. Anthony’s graduate — have friends in Bay Shore, his uncle, the late Jack Hough, was the revered inspector at the 3rd Precinct from 1993 to 2000.
“I know the area well and, for me, Bay Shore was very similar to Patchogue, with the arts community and the Boulton Center and a strong chamber of commerce,” Scarlatos said.
“It’s just become a real walkable area, and that’s a great fit for Toast.”
Check back at greaterbayshore.com for updates.