With the transformation into a restaurant almost complete, the resounding annoucements of departing trains along with the sounds of passengers hurriedly rushing to their next destinations have all but disappeared. Instead, those sounds will be replaced by patrons of the , Mamaroneck’s scheduled to open mid-month in the old train station.
The ground floor space, which occupies the drab former waiting room, has been transformed into an elegant, cozy clubhouse-style room that accentuates the building’s solid construction.
“We really brought out the original mood,” said Larchmont- based architect James Fleming, who helped new owner Brian MacMenamin peel away the plaster to expose the brick walls hiding underneath. “It was a good raw space, it had just had been painted over 20 times. Due to its single-use, all the stuff was there in great condition.”
The rectangular room is divided into a tavern area to the left as one walks in the door and a larger dining room to the right.
The original fireplace, now outfitted with gas, has been restored and original molding, stained glass and casings around the windows have been preserved. Even the original doors on the 1888 building are still intact.
“When I first walked in, I was floored with how cool it was,” said MacMenamin. “I love old beams and brick.”
Also attracting attention is the shimmering pressed-tin ceiling, which “really makes the place glitter,” said Fleming. Chandeliers and museum-style track lights hang from the ceiling and floor tiles accentuate the bar area. The bar only looks vintage: made of mahogany and zinc, MacMenamin had it fabricated in North Carolina.
The menu features New American fare with an international flair, primarily Italian, Asian and French. A tavern menu offers finger food and pizza. The dining room menu includes several cuts of beef, Roasted Loin Chop of Pork Rossini with Foie Gras and Truffle Madeira and Arctic Sea Bass with Lobster Crushed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Haricot Vert.
“We’re fans of big cuts of prime meats and sushi-grade fish nicely prepared,” said MacMenamin. “It’s not our style to put some foam on a little portion of food.”
Beer, wine and cocktails also skew high-end. Adorning the bar area are 64 oz. growlers, which look like moonshine jugs, from the Olde Burnside Brewery in East Hartford, CT, whose Dirty Penny Ale and Ten Penny Ale retail for around $14 for less than a six-pack.
MacMenamin created the signature Club Car specialty cocktail, which includes St. Germaine, raspberry vodka, passion fruit nectar and fresh pineapple lemonade topped with a homemade strawberry puree.
When the dinner hours disappear, the restaurant will transform into a nightclub with DJs and bands. The booming sound system features six large speakers strategically positioned around the room.
Things could get loud, due to the exposed brick walls and reflective silver ceiling, but the clientele will stay classy.
“Twenty to thirty years ago, where were places that a married couple could go to hear great music, enjoy dinner and dance,” said MacMenamin. “We’d like to bring something like that back. This isn’t going to be a hip-hop club filled with kids.”