By Janee Law
Following the success of Vauxhall, co-owners Eric Finneran, Salvatore Mignano and Dan Valentino are gearing up to open Nashville-style barbecue joint RadioRadio right next door to the bar and restaurant on Clinton Avenue in Huntington village.
The soon-to-be southern barbecue bistro will offer a cozy, intimate setting, and will be family-friendly. There will also be outdoor seating available when warm weather returns.
Valentino said that RadioRadio was named after Elvis Costello’s “Radio Radio” song from 1978 album “This Year’s Model.” The trio, each of which are also musicians, employed a similar tactic when naming Vauxhall, which was derived from English rock star Morrissey’s 1994 album, “Vauxhall and I.”
“We’re all music guys and we all still play,” Valentino said. “We didn’t want to name it something that was too specific. That’s not our vibe.”
Valentino said their idea for opening up RadioRadio came from an observation that Huntington village was lacking barbecue food, although the owners of Old Fields Inn recently announced that they plan to open Old Fields Barbecue on New Street in the village this spring.
The cuisine at RadioRadio will be managerd by Micheal Meehan, who is also the chef at Vauxhall.
Valentino said Meehan “has a love affair” with barbecue and that he will also be brought in as a business partner. Meehan was previously head chef at H20 in Smithtown for six years until 2014.
“We’re going to feature a combination of southern classic dishes and southern ingredients, like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, catfish, and hoppin’ John rice,” Meehan said. “Then 50 percent of the menu is going to be our house-smoked barbecue, brisket, pulled pork as well as several vegan items.”
Chris Burke, the bar manager at Vauxhall, will also be brought on board to RadioRadio. He said that there will be a lot of classic southern cocktails on the menu and that he’s shooting for a New Orleans emphasis.
“We’ll take classics and then we’ll put our own twist to it, where it’s not reinventing the wheel but it’s giving something a modern flare that maybe can be shown in a different light, showcasing local ingredients, different styles, and different techniques,” Burke said. “It’s a big focus on what we can make in house versus what we purchase from other vendors. There’s going to be a lot of fresh infusions, fresh syrups, and rotate seasonally.”
For Vauxhall, Valentino said they started with a vision when it first opened in December 2015 and then the town turned it into the success it is today.
“We’re going into [RadioRadio] with an open mind,” Valentino said. “We’re going to put our ideas out there and then whatever people give back to us is what it will be. It’s very humbling to open another business because it’s not an easy town.”
RadioRadio will take over the 24 Clinton Avenue location in Huntington village, which was previously occupied by Doppio Artisan Bistro. Valentino said that they began the construction process after the lease was signed in December 2016 and hopes to open RadioRadio this spring.
“I think the town will respond very well because there’s nothing similar around and it’s a fun cuisine to work with, and it’s fun cuisine to eat,” Meehan said. “The town has been so supportive so we’re just excited to have another business in this area.”