Historic Chequit reopens on Shelter Island with many updates

The reopening of the historic Chequit has caused a stir on Shelter Island, with residents and visitors alike clamoring for a peek inside the newly refurbished hotel which has been an integral part of the island’s history for 150 year.

Overlooking Dering Harbor in Shelter Island Heights, The Chequit reopened Memorial Day weekend with three new restaurant and beverage concepts as well as major updates that respect the building’s history.

“Everyone is so excited to see the Chequit come back to life,” said Stacey Soloviev, community relations manager for the Soloviev Group, which bought the property at auction in March 2020 and quickly undertook a major renovation. The Soloviev Group owns several properties in the East End, including Peconic Bay Vineyards and Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm, both in Cutchogue.

The Chequit comprises a main building with 19 renovated rooms and two additional buildings with a total of 16 rooms.

The redesign focused primarily on the main building, which houses the main lobby and restaurants.

“For me, the most important aspect was that the lobby feels like a living room that welcomes people to the hotel and to the island – where guests can mingle with the locals and feel the area and the place,” Solovyov said.

Designed with soft shades of white and beige, the welcoming lobby flows into the restaurants, which are helmed by Chef Noah Schwartz and include Weakfish Sushi & Noodle, featuring new Asian cuisine.

“Chequit” is a Native American word for weak fish, a white fish that abounded in Peconic Bay when the property opened in 1872. Weakfish Sushi & Noodle’s menu includes sushi rolls, sashimi dishes and ramen, with pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables. choices.

The Heights Café & Wine Bar, named after the Shelter Island Heights location of the Chequit, is a café offering homemade pastries by day that converts to a wine bar with a selection of wines, cheese platters and light snacks in late afternoon.

The Tavern is a new American concept with a farm-to-table menu including steaks, homemade pasta dishes, seafood platters, pulled duck BBQ, filet mignon sliders, smashburgers and a bar believed.

Serving lunch and dinner, The Tavern includes a large central bar and an antique pool table from the Chequit’s original dining room.

All restaurants offer outdoor seating options, which was an important part of the revamp, according to general manager Ben Levine.

Al fresco dining is served with a view at the ChequitPhoto by Zack DeZon

“Alfresco dining has always been a part of The Chequit, where people have always enjoyed lounging around the beautiful wraparound porch, eating fresh food and drinking cocktails,” Levine said. “But the pandemic has definitely pushed us to put more emphasis on outdoor dining.”

Weakfish opens onto a newly created aft deck, while there are four new semi-private dining areas with water views.

“We’ve added fire pits, which will allow for outdoor dining during the fall months,” Levine said. “As anyone who spends time here knows, September and October are magical times to be in the East End, especially Shelter Island.”

Bedrooms have been redesigned with soft lighting and muted shades of white for a coastal feel, with planked walls and oars serving as bedroom panels. Bathtubs have been added to some of the bathrooms, which also feature features such as rain showers and glass partitions.

“We also adapted the rooms to modern expectations, with central air conditioning, heating and soundproofing and the addition of mini-fridges and televisions,” Levine said. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the Chequit.

In its early days, the property served as a gathering place for members of the Methodist Church who came to the island on summer retreats and stayed in cottages nearby. The cottages had no kitchen, so visitors ate all their meals on the property, which they simply called “The Restaurant”.

The Chequit became an inn in the early 20th century and quickly established a reputation for live music and late-night parties. Over the years it has hosted celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller and a Kennedy or two.

“The building celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and it hasn’t had much more than a facelift in the last 50-70 years, so it was long overdue for the love and work that Stacey put into it. “, said Levine. .

Community is one of the pillars of the Solovyov Group, from hiring locally to collaborating with other businesses in the region. The Chequit launched a new artist-in-residence program this summer which will showcase the work of East End artists in the lobby, restaurants and a newly created exhibition gallery. The property also offers local produce, such as fresh juices from The Giving Room in Southold and donuts from Dreesen’s in East Hampton, and plans to collaborate with local winemakers on wine pairings.

“Every local has a ‘Chequit First’ story, like their first kiss or their first beer, and for the local community to walk by and see their faces of shock and amazement at what has been done – it’s incredibly gratifying to to be part of this project and to be able to offer this experience to the community,” said Levine.

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