World Pie, a mainstay of the Bridgehampton restaurant scene for the past two decades, has closed after owner Michael Mannino sold the building.
“I wasn’t really planning to sell it,” Mr. Mannino said, “but it seemed like the time was right. And honestly, I need a break. I need to take some time to sit back and figure out what’s next. I need a new challenge.”
Mr. Mannino would not name the buyer or the price that was paid for the building, which includes a two-bedroom second floor apartment. The restaurant served its last meal on September 25, and the closing took place on September 27. A peak in the window that afternoon showed tables set with silverware and napkins, as though the restaurant had only been closed for the day.
Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman Real Estate said talks had begun several months ago, but Mr. Mannino wanted to remain open through the summer season. He said the new owner planned to open “a high-end Italian restaurant,” but he did not know when it would open. “The leases have been sent out,” he said.
The building, which was constructed in 1894, has been a restaurant for decades, most famously as the original home of Bobby Van’s, known as a gathering spot for the East End’s literary set. Bobby Van’s later moved into larger quarters across Montauk Highway.
Mr. Mannino said his father, Philip Mannino, purchased the building in 1966 and opened Phil’s Saloon, with Mr. Van, who played piano, later buying it.
The elder Mr. Mannino later opened a string of O’Malley’s restaurants from East Hampton to Greenport and just about every place in between.
Mr. Mannino said he had worked to help place employees at other restaurants, but said he would miss both them and the clientele that kept his restaurant busy even in the off-season.
“It’s kind of bittersweet, but it’s time to move on,” Mr. Mannino said. “The restaurant business takes a lot of hours — it’s basically your whole life and I’ve been doing it for a long time. I started working for my dad when I was 9 and I’m 56 now.”