SOMERS, N.Y. — Local legend has it the small red and white building that stands on the northwest corner of Route 100 and Route 35 was originally a hangout in the 1920s for fishermen who came up from the city. Since, then it has been through many incarnations.
Its latest is thanks to Ann-Margaret Wagner and Eddie Lubic, owner of Italian restaurant Eduardo’s in Mount Kisco, who bought the historic building from chef Reka Souwapawong in May, gave it an extensive renovation and renamed it the Muscoot Tavern.
Muscoot's menu, which had been Italian only, is now comprised of traditional tavern food at budget-friendly prices, with some Italian choices mixed in.
“It’s all my recipes. No matter who’s cooking back there, it will be consistent,” said Lubic, whose father opened Pizza Village in Mount Kisco in 1969. Lubic Jr. took over the spot in the 1980s, renaming it Eduardo's.
“It’s just a well-rounded menu. It has something for everyone,” he said, like the smoky brisket burger he created and the thin crust clam pizza.
Co-owner Wagner, who has a background in restaurant management, has her own menu contributions: gluten-free items and healthier options like the Portobello burger and the salmon burger.
Before retooling the menu, the Mahopac couple, who have a 5-year-old daughter together, had to perform a long overdue renovation: they tore up the floor, installed a new kitchen, re-painted the interior and exterior, fixed the foundation, gutted the bathrooms, extended the ceilings and turned an office into a small, private dining area.
As one necessary repair after another came to light, the true magnitude of the job became clear – “It kind of snowballed,” said Wagner.
The building's extensive wear and tear makes sense, given that it is thought to be one of the oldest buildings in Westchester. It may have also been moved from Muscoot Farm property at one point, Wagner said.
Originally the Muscoot Diner in the 1920s, it was bought by Lottie Burke and renamed the Muscoot Restaurant in the 1960s, then became a German restaurant called The Little Brauhaus, then back to the Muscoot Restaurant under Burke's daughter until the late 1990s when it was bought again and became the Muscoot Inn.
Wagner and Lubic opened their doors on July 10, and are looking forward to holding a festive grand opening event sometime within the next few weeks.
When it comes to a restaurant’s grand opening, “You only get one chance to do it right," Wagner said. “We want to make sure we do it right the first time.”