Café Joelle is about to turn some heads and maybe even stop traffic.
The Main Street, Sayville, mainstay is getting a facelift this fall with a new front facade that will feature new brick, trendy signage, Florida ceiling glass and accordion doors to facilitate open-air dining.
“In the summer, people want to be dining outside and have that open-air feel. We’re going to create that,” said Café Joelle owner James Caporuscio, 38, a Sayville native who has worked in restaurants since he was a teen. “This is going to be a real game-changer for us.”
Caporuscio took over ownership of the eatery last fall and quickly (in six days) renovated the bar area in the back of the establishment. He also decorated the wall of the dining area with framed black and white photos of Sayville locations.
The previous owners had run Café Joelle for decades, and there had been few updates.
“Anyone who’s never been here who drives by this restaurant doesn’t say, ‘This place looks awesome,'” he said. “Right now, there’s no curb appeal, no sex appeal to the front of the building. After the renovations, that will change.”
Caporuscio, who for 10 years was the general manager at La Tavola in Sayville, expects the restaurant will remain open through construction. The renovations, including remodelled bathrooms, will likely be complete by Thanksgiving, he said.
Caporuscio’s start in the restaurant business came after he won close to $1 million in the 2005 United States Poker Championship. The winnings fueled his pursuit of a career in hospitality.