Already a well-known name in Italian food across Long Island for decades, Butera’s is now planning to open a Bay Shore restaurant.

Martin Butera, one of the co-owners of the family-owned and operated brand, said that planning for the Bay Shore location initially started in 2016, but was put on hold to focus on the company’s new frozen chicken meatballs and jarred sauces.

“We’ve looked into Bay Shore in the past,” he said. “And at the time, our products in the marketplace weren’t on the radar.”

But in 2017, those items took off. Now they can be found in over 200 markets across Long Island, New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut.

”Making a product in a restaurant is one thing,” he added, “ But packaging is another thing and that’s been a story in itself.”

Last year they turned their attentions back to Bay Shore.

The new location is set to open sometime this April at 8 Third Avenue, just north of East Main Street. The space was formerly occupied by several different businesses, namely Special Sauce.

Its immediate neighbors include Tula’s Kitchen and Southside Bar & Restaurant.

Inside the standalone building, which is now completely gutted, plans to build a beautiful space with a bar and kitchen are well underway.

Garage doors will open to a patio outside, and municipal parking is directly out back.

“It was in need of a lot of work,” Butera said. “It’s going to be a completely new building.”

Fans of the name can expect their traditional Italian-American favorites, but also some things will differentiate the space.

“Over the years, you have to change it up,” Butera said.

Visitors can mostly expect smaller, more personal entrees, which differs from the mountainous, family-style plates Sayville fans has come to know and pass around the table.

“We say the style is present-Italian, in the traditional way of my mom’s family,” Butera said. “Less is more.”

Now it’s just a matter of getting the doors open mid-spring as planned.

Butera said he couldn’t have made such quick progress in Bay Shore, and advance the company’s vision, without the help of his co-partners: his brother Gary and his wife, Laurie, and partner Nick Zografos.

“We’re really excited about Bay Shore,” he said.

“The community is great and we can’t wait.”

more about Butera’s

The Butera name started in Nassau County when the family’s first restaurant opened in Massapequa in 1991.

After closing that spot, they opened in a restaurant in Woodbury (that’s celebrating 20 years), also Sayville (celebrating 10 years), and a Smithtown location that recently closed after 12 years in business.

Butera owned the Smithtown property and decided it was time to close those doors to focus on the future of the brand.

The marketplace items and the commitment to Bay Shore were factors, but not the sole reason, Butera said.

“We didn’t necessarily leave Smithtown for Bay Shore,” he told GreaterBayShore. “It was just a business decision we had to make.”

Photo: Martin Butera and his partner, Nick Zografos, at the new Bay Shore Butera’s location currently under construction. (Julianne Mosher)