Tora Matsuoka, who started his career in hospitality at the age of 13 in his father’s Sag Harbor restaurant, Sen, will manage the Claudio’s restaurant complex in Greenport with his partner in Seasoned Hospitality, Stephen Loffredo.
The management team for Claudio’s was announced this week by the restaurants’ new owners, Ian Behar, Ryan Sasson, and Perry and David Weitz, who purchased the business last month from the Claudio family. The complex includes Claudio’s Restaurant, Claudio’s Clam Bar and Crabby Jerrys’. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Matsuoka said the management team was under strict orders to maintain the name, and feel, of Claudio’s, while making improvements to service and food quality.
“They love Claudio’s,” he said. “They have been going there forever as part of the boating community with homes in the Hamptons. We were given very specific and direct guidance from ownership. They want to keep these restaurants the same. They want us to employ everyone that was working there. They want us to maintain the concept. My mission, the mission they have given us, is to cultivate better food and service.”
Mr. Matsuoka is a co-owner in Sen, and said there are similarities between managing restaurants in Greenport and Sag Harbor — both historic downtowns focused on the waterfront, with seasonal economies. “It’s a challenge, but it also can be very rewarding,” he said.
Mr. Matsuoka said the goal is to formally open by Memorial Day weekend, with a soft opening likely before the season begins.