Salivar’s restaurant, a landmark on the docks on Montauk Harbor, has been sold for $3.3 million, Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate in East Hampton announced on Monday.
The buyers are Brian Obergfell, a New York City attorney, and his wife, Jo-Ann Obergfell. “Both are Montauk lovers, they love Montauk,” Ms. Desiderio said, “and according to Brian, he’s been going to Salivar’s since he was a kid.”
Salivar’s, which was owned by the late Pete Chimpoukchis, was a thriving bar and diner-type restaurant for decades, popular with fishermen leaving the harbor in the early-morning hours, late-night bar patrons who could stumble over to the restaurant for breakfast after last call, and with tourists who came to inspect the mounted head of a great white shark caught by Frank Mundus, who was said to be the inspiration for the charter captain in Peter Benchley’s “Jaws.”
Mr. Obergfell will keep both the restaurant’s name and its shark head, Ms. Desiderio said, adding that Mr. Chimpoukchis’s family had wanted to protect his legacy.
“It’s been there as long as I’ve been out here,” she said. “It’s been in the family for over 50 years. It really was his labor of love. Everybody loved it, and loved him.”
Mr. Obergfell hopes to lease the property, according to Ms. Desiderio. Originally listed for $3.95 million, it includes six dock slips, seating for 53 inside and 85 on an outside patio overlooking the water, and just under an acre of property. The restaurant did not open this summer, perhaps for the first time since it first opened; the building itself dates to 1947.
“What made it an extraordinary deal was that the buyer was a pleasure to deal with, too,” Ms. Desiderio said on Monday. “Everybody respected Salivar’s—what it was and what it stood for.”
“I think they’re going to be really sensitive to the Montauk community, because it did serve a purpose,” she said.
The new owners closed on the deal a week or two ago, she said. Another waterfront commercial property right next door, Lenny’s on the Dock, is also for sale. At one point, Ms. Desiderio said, there was a prospective buyer who was going to combine the two properties and make “one special thing on the dock,” but that deal fell through. She added that “Lenny’s is in play” at the moment.