The team behind Bridgehampton’s Almond Restaurant, an East End stalwart, will expand their purview with another venture. L&W Market, the brainchild of Almond partners Jason Weiner and Eric Lemonides, will occupy the retail space next door to Almond on Bridgehampton’s Main Street. The market anticipates a mid-June opening.
The space will sell cold-brew coffee, as well as pastries, dried fruit dehydrated in house, penny candy, homemade ice cream and jerky, bulk grains, salad greens, salad dressings, smoked fish, refrigerator pickles, eggs, marinated cuts of meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, cured meats, and more. They will also focus on grab-and-go items for the beach (composed salads and sandwiches, for instance) and prepared foods suitable for serving at dinner. Featuring some of Almond’s greatest hits—the macaroni and cheese, for example—while flexing creative muscle, the market will also include a rotisserie, on which chickens, legs of lamb, vegetable contorni, and other delicacies will cook for a rotating series of entrées and sides. Portion sizes will be for two or more people, for those looking for a dinner solution but not necessarily food for a crowd.
One problem that L&W Market hopes to combat is the long wait time for food in the summer months. “It takes you 40 minutes to get to the beach,” Lemonides said of the trials and tribulations of getting food en route in the Hamptons. “Part of what we’re going to do is we’re going to offer online ordering and our own personal app.” The L&W portal will feature all of the goods sold at the retail space, and there will also be a dedicated waiting area where patrons can pick up their food — which will be waiting for them when they arrive. By introducing this technology, the founders of L&W hopes to lessen wait time for beachgoers, yes, but they also hope to accommodate large parties who are ordering dinner for a group and prefer not to wait.
L&W, which is still undergoing construction, is housed in an early 1900s-era building with original pressed tin ceilings; the crew has painted them jet black. A feature wall, which is covered in reclaimed wood slats, was installed by Lemonides himself. Eventually, this wall will display shelving units with nonperishables, as well as large refrigerator units where customers can select prepared foods to go. An L-shaped poured concrete countertop will top drop-in glass refrigerators, where patrons will be able to see and select prepared foods, like pâté.
A reclaimed-wood entrance will lead into a hexagonal mosaic tile “carpet” with the market’s name embedded in it. The market will include other industrial touches, too, like a wall of white subway tile with black grout, and black casement windows with chicken wire glass. Although the space has no indoor seating (though it will boast a powder room), those visiting during daytime hours will be free to use Almond’s outdoor seating, says Lemonides, since the adjacent restaurant does not serve lunch.
All of the food at L&W will be developed and prepared by Almond Executive Chef Jason Weiner and Almond Chef d’ Cuisine Jeremy Blutstein. Additionally, the two will sell their burgeoning line of fermented foods — Kimchi Jews — at the retail space. Among other fermented goodies, the Kimchi Jews product line will include locally sourced kimchi, a variety of hot sauces, koji-cured charcuterie, fermented vinegars, homemade soy sauce, fish sauce made from whiting and local striped bass, and sauerkrauts and pickles. Other purveyors of nonperishable items are still being cemented. Once the space opens, hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The market will continue to operate through the off-season, possibly with altered hours. “Part of the Almond philosophy is ‘We’re not here for the summers; we service the winter and off-season community. Our neighbors are our clients,’” Mr. Lemonides said.
Part of the fun of the market, Mr. Lemonides said, has been building it. “The whole process has been really organic,” he said. “It has been me and my brother building and Jeremy and Jason walking over and bringing over snacks.”
For more information, visit almondrestuarant.com.