The spring lockdowns and overall COVID-19 uncertainty had put a screeching halt to work on the ambitious Embassy restaurant planned for the old Sunny Buffet in Bay Shore.

But things are rolling now, owner Steve Fleming says.

“There was no point to opening the restaurant with all the restrictions,” Fleming said. “But now we are back working on it, and are preparing to open. Most of our interior mahogany woodwork is done and it looks amazing!”

The plan is to be operational by summer.

The old Sunny Buffet had sat prominently for over 20 years at Shore Lane and East Main Street. The building is about to undergo a major transformation inside and out, as Fleming brings The Embassy and its unique-to-Long Island concept downtown.

Fleming told us last year he plans for a living wall exterior. Basically, the exterior of The Embassy will be covered in vegetation.

Here’s an example of one that inspired him:

The Churchill Arms Pub in London. (Steve Fleming courtesy photo)

“It’s going to be heavy; I’m going to tell you. People are going to be shocked … Flowers up to the roof,” said Fleming, who moved from Ireland in 1985 and has been building high-end bars, mostly in New York City, ever since.

As for the food, “We’re going to do food from all around the world,” he had said. “You can come here and order food from several different cultures. You can order Italian; your wife can order Chinese.”

Then there’s the fusion aspect.

“We mix things,” he said.

For example, the corned beef and cabbage egg rolls, or the lobster shepherd’s pie, or the prosciutto and mozzarella dumplings.

The interior will feature a center bar reminiscent of Cheers, book shelves, fireplaces, handcrafted furniture and molding.

“Our small, private seating rooms (called snugs) will also work great with social distancing and we’re going to add personal seating areas outside, with even more vegetation so people feel comfortable separated from others, surrounded by plants and flowers.”

Opening this spring, say by St. Patrick’s Day, would be ideal, he said.