They’re looking to light up the eastern end of downtown Bay Shore.

Local businessmen Drew Dvorkin, Greg Mogil and Peter Petrakis have teamed up with renowned chef Marc Bynum to open a barbecue restaurant called Fatwood Southern Kitchen in the former Even Flow space on East Main Street.

“Fatwood” is another term for kindling, explained Dvorkin, a 20-year industry veteran.

“You need good kindling to start a big fire,” he said. “If we put in the love and passion, that’s going to be our good kindling, which will literally keep the smoke smoking in the smokers for years to come.”

Dvorkin is also involved in Bay Shore mainstays T.J. Finley’s and The Penny Pub, as well as Local Burger Co., all of which are on Main Street.

Bynum owns Hush American Bistro in Farmingdale, whose chipotle ribs were featured on the cover of Oprah’s O Magazine in July.

“Self-proclaimed barbecue maven Gayle King can’t get enough of these ribs,” reads oprah.com, “sweet, smoky, and fall-off-the-bone sublime. Rack ’em up!”

“He and I met about three years ago and knew we would work together someday,” Dvorkin said of the chef. “And when we decided to go barbecue, we called him right away.”

Downtown Bay Shore hasn’t had a barbecue place since Smokin’ Al’s closed in 2013.

Fatwood will take about three to four months to build at 150 East Main Street, which Dvorkin and Mogil purchased in early 2016.

“We were trying to figure out what to do [with the building], whether to rent it out or do something ourselves” Dvorkin said. “But we really couldn’t pass up on what we saw as an incredible opportunity for Bay Shore.”

Located just a block from Southside Hospital, the partners believe Fatwood will help breathe life into the eastern reaches of the downtown, especially with the outdoor seating area to be built on what’s now an empty lot.

“We feel it’s going to help expand the retail traffic to that end of town,” Dvorkin said, noting the outdoor activity will be a nice greeting for visitors.

The interiors will have a “worn-in” look and feel, he said.

“The way I describe the place is this,” he said, “when people come in here, we want it to feel like a nice, big hug. The feeling we’re going for is warmth and comfort.”

“Barbecue is community. Barbecue is family. Barbecue is comfort,” Dvorkin continued. ‘We’re also in very close proximity to Southside Hospital. There’s a lot of people at that hospital in need of comfort — the people who work there, and the people there for fortunate or unfortunate reasons … we’d like to provide that for them.

“Not that it’s going to be a sad place; it’s going to be a place where you can go and leave your worries behind.”

The menu itself will feature barbecue from all different parts of the U.S.

“We’re going to bring in different flavors from different regions, so we can introduce Long Islanders to all different styles of barbecue; it won’t just be Texas, or North Carolina,” Dvorkin said.

Read: A field guide to regional BBQ styles in America

Though the focus will be on barbecue, Fatwood will also offer traditional Southern favorites, like jumbalaya and fried catfish sandwiches.

“And we’re going to have a dynamite beverage program, with a lot of plays on Southern teas and lemonades,” Dvorkin said. “I would describe it as a brown-liquor heavy program” with plenty of beer to serve by the pitcher.

Check back at greaterbayshore.com for more Fatwood updates, including a profile of Chef Marc Bynum.


Top Rendering: The Main Street-facing exterior of Fatwood Southern Kitchen, which includes outdoor seating to the immediate east of the building, with a roll-up garage door between the outdoors and indoors. (Dawn Murnak Design)

Fatwood 2

The rear of Fatwood Southern Kitchen planned for 150 East Main Street.