Its name may initially seem somewhat of a misnomer; this “dive” isn’t blanketed by a thin layer of grime or patronized by liquor-fueled barflies. But the décor of Bobby Gulinello’s inviting pub on Main Street—opened in October and located across from the West Sayville Fire Department—immediately reveals the appropriateness of its moniker: The scattering of diver helmets, the vintage starboard lights repurposed as candleholders and the enlarged black-and-white photographs sourced from the Long Island Maritime Museum. “We have such a rich maritime history and heritage on Long Island, it made sense to celebrate that here,” Gulinello explained. “I’ve been going to the beach and boating for my entire life. It felt natural to embrace what makes Long Islanders love Long Island in a casual bar geared toward locals.”
South Shore Dive’s theme is similar to Gulinello’s other bar, The Cortland, in Bay Shore; though this loca- tion is more ambitious and effective. A sea of great, diverse beer is present among the 10 rotating drafts and 15 cans and bottles, and customers can expect to swim with craft breweries like Off Color and Long Ireland while seated in the tin-ceilinged room.
There is also a menu of “killer bar food,” Gulinello proudly said, designed by Craig Atwood. The former executive chef of Jedediah Hawkins Inn incorporates beer into several dishes, including Shinnecock Inlet-sourced oysters served with a Westbrook Gose-infused mignonette. A plus for late-night navigators: The kitchen is open daily until 1am.
What to Drink: Diver Down Cream Ale, a proprietary beer made by Riverhead’s Moustache Brewing. This nautically named exclusive was inspired by Genesee Cream Ale, an enduring example of the US-born style and The Cortland’s best-selling brew.
“Since we only sell New York beer [at The Cortland], Genesee is our version of PBR,” Gulinello said. “We worked with Moustache to make a beer like it for our new place: light in color and body, crisp in flavor. It’s something approachable, you can crush through a glass easily.”