Inside The Chic Chequit in Shelter Island

by Eddie Roche

This summer’s hautest spot is the recently renovated, reopened, and eternally charming The Chequit in Shelter Island. Celebrating an astonishing 150 years in business this year, the recent restoration of the hotel pays respect to the historic property while maintaining the spirit and legacy of its roots. Stacey Soloviev, director of community relations, tells THE DAILY SUMMER why this gem, once a getaway for Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys, is looking better than ever.

Happy 150th anniversary to The Chequit. How are you celebrating?
We’re celebrating every day! I feel so grateful to be able to reopen this historic hotel. We also created a special Chequit 150 bottle of bubbles, Blanc de Blancs, from Peconic Bay Vineyards. There are more celebratory parties to come!

What was the property like 150 years ago?
The building was constructed in 1872 as a meeting hall; it morphed into what members of the Methodist Church who went on retreat in the nearby cottages called “The Restaurant.” The cottages didn’t have kitchens, so the building that is now The Chequit was where they gathered and ate their meals. The Chequit was one of the first sights seen on the island, with its impressive blue hydrangea and opulent porch. It stood as a “welcome back” icon, summer after summer. By 1909, The Chequit was transformed into an inn. In 1978, The Dain Curse, a TV mini-series was filmed at The Chequit.

What has the process been like reopening the property?
The infrastructure upgrades were critical, including plumbing, electric, structural, HVAC, TVs, and WiFi. The building needed a lot of love! The reopening has been so rewarding but also challenging. This has truly been a labor of love for me.

Tell us about some of the exciting food concepts happening here.
The Chequit’s reopening includes three new food-and-beverage concepts created by myself and run by Chef Noah Schwartz—Weakfish Sushi & Noodles, Heights Café & Wine Bar, and The Tavern. Weakfish Sushi & Noodles hosts a menu that is inspired by New Asian cuisine. It features a selection of sushi rolls and sashimi, specialty rolls, and a variety of ramen dishes, including a pork, chicken, seafood, and a vegetable option. There is also a sushi bar that seats eight. An Asian-inspired cocktail program featuring a wide selection of sake is also available. The restaurant is open six days a week (Thursday to Tuesday). Heights Café & Wine Bar functions as a welcoming coffee shop in the morning, before turning into a wine bar in the mid-afternoon. In the morning, Heights Café & Wine Bar is the perfect place to stop in for a cup of coffee and freshly baked pastries. In the afternoon, the space converts into a wine bar, serving vino, cheese boards, and other small bites. Heights Café & Wine Bar is open seven days a week and offers outdoor seating.

What about The Tavern, your newest restaurant? What’s on the menu?
The restaurant’s farm-to-table menu highlights Chef Noah’s signature smashburger, steaks, homemade pasta dishes, filet mignon sliders, pulled duck BBQ, and a raw bar, where guests are able to enjoy a variety of local oysters, clams, shrimp cocktail, and lobster. The Tavern offers both inside and outdoor seating on The Chequit’s patio and wrap-around porch. It features a large center bar with 20 seats and an antique billiard table from the original dining room at The Chequit. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Besides eating, what are some activities guests can enjoy?
Guests love to visit the beach or go boating during their stay. You can also hike the Mashomack Nature Preserve. Shelter Island is bike-friendly, so you always see people biking around the island or to dinner. It’s also a great place to meditate, read, or do yoga, especially SUP, stand-up paddleboard yoga.

Finally, do you have a favorite room in the inn?
Room #25 is my favorite. It’s our master suite, and has a private terrace, a large living room, and a huge bathroom with a beautiful soaking tub.

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