Hometown Bar-B-Que pitmaster/owner Bill Durney is planning to open an ambitious restaurant in Staten Island's Stapleton Waterfront in early 2017. Surf BBQ & Grill will be dedicated to live wood fire cooking, and will incorporate direct grilling in addition to off-set smoking. Durney has partnered with restaurateur / TV host Vic Rallo and the Diaco family, who together own a string of successful restaurants in New Jersey. This includes the original location of Surf BBQ, which Durney served as a consultant on. While Surf BBQ and Hometown both operate on a cafeteria style by-the-pound service model, Surf BBQ & Grill will be a more formal restaurant with waiter service and composed plates.
The restaurant will have around 200 seats and boast a sweeping panoramic view that encompasses the Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Verrazano Bridge. The restaurant is part of a Urby Staten Island development that incorporates 900 residential units and includes a sustainable farm, which will help to supply the restaurant with ingredients. The menu is still in development, but will incorporate both traditional smoked barbecue and grilled meats and fish, using prime ingredients cooked simply to highlight the quality. Durney is also considering building a meat locker to dry-age beef. Rallo, who is renowned for his knowledge of wine, will oversee the beverage program.
Between the view, the unique combination of cooking methods, the use of prime ingredients, and the beverage program, the goal is to build a destination restaurant. The partners acknowledge the challenge of building on Staten Island, where the most popular restaurants tend to be casual neighborhood joints, but also feel that they are well positioned for success. The area, which was at one time a Navy yard, is experiencing rapid renewal. The ferry terminal is a half mile away, and the world's largest ferris wheel is being erected nearby, too.