By Arielle Dollinger
Behind a counter covered in croissant-donuts and in front of a wall decorated by menu boards, David and Josh Cook operate Cook’s: Scratch Kitchen and Bakery in Northport.
Next month, the brothers will expand to Huntington village, bringing “a little bit of an abridged menu” to Book Revue, Josh said – a move that will reopen the New York Avenue bookstore’s café, which has been closed for nearly three months.
When in search of someone new to run the café, Book Revue owner Richard Klein chose the Cook brothers “because they’re good,” he said.
“We didn’t really have to shop around; people started coming to us,” Klein said. “And we chose the people we thought would be the best fit, who understood the fact that it is really part of the bookstore.”
When making the decision, Klein said, the criteria included a number of things. The café will feature between eight and 12 lunch options, he estimated – the goal was for the café to be just that: a café, not a restaurant.
“We didn’t want a fancy restaurant; we didn’t want something that would be like a 7-Eleven. We wanted something that would be casual, but high-quality at the same time,” Klein said. “We found someone who has a very high-quality product, but it’s not super expensive.”
The menu will include a selection of sandwiches, Panini sandwiches, baked goods and “most likely” salads.
The Cooks are planning to open by Sept. 15 “at the latest,” said Josh Cook, who has held positions at such places as Four Food Studio and Insignia Steak House during his 15 years in the restaurant business.
“We’re going as fast and furious as we possibly can,” he said.
The partnership came about quickly – Cook’s pastry chef, Stacey McDevitt, noticed that the Book Revue café was closed and asked the owner about it. The next day, Josh visited the store with information and baked goods. An hour later, Klein called him to say that he had made his decision.
“They’re an old-school bookstore; it’s got a lot of history,” said Josh Cook. “I think with how we do everything fresh and affordable, but still very high end, it’s along the lines of this ‘neighborhood bookstore’-type thing… They’re more of a quality book store in the sense that we’re a quality café.”
The brothers had been looking to open a second location – something larger and with waiter service – when McDevitt discovered the Book Revue space.
“The Book Revue kind of came out of nowhere and was a little bit too good to pass up,” said Cook, noting that he and his partner are still looking to open a larger location.
But for now, he said, the Cooks are excited to open at the bookstore.
“They [Book Revue] have an incredible reputation,” he said. “It’ll give us also a really nice presence in the Town of Huntington, which we’re looking forward to.”
The Cooks grew up in Plainview, but McDevitt and her family live in Northport.
The Northport location – 3 miles west of the Sunken Meadow State Parkway, at 1014 Fort Salonga Road – is a counter-service café and serves only breakfast and lunch, Josh Cook said.
The café sells Northport Potato Chips, bagged specifically for the venue, and uses sandwich bread delivered from a bakery in Astoria. Everything else, Cook said, is made in-house.
“We make 98 percent of everything in-house, from scratch,” he said, noting that the café’s use of locally sourced eggs.
By the Cooks’ and Klein’s estimates, the café should be open at the hand of the Cooks before mid-September.