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Restaurant Brings the Roaring '20s Back to Staten Island

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 29, 2013 6:42am
 Gatsby's on the Bay has a Jazz Age decor, complete with mannequins dressed the part.
Gatsby's on the Bay
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STAPLETON — A new restaurant is trying to bring the Roaring '20s back to Staten Island.

Gatsby’s on the Bay, which opened last week at 695 Bay St., has walls covered with memorabilia and art from the Jazz Age.

With decorations including old tobacco and beer cans, and mannequins in pinstripe suits smoking cigarettes and playing cards, owner Shalva Jibladze said the decor and food will bring the era back to Stapleton.

“We always wanted to do something for the neighborhood and bring that American history back to reality,” Jibladze said. “That’s why we created this.”

Aside from the decor, the food also leans heavily on menu staples from 90 years ago, freshened with modern spices, Jibladze said. From beef short ribs to wild mushroom pot pie, to pork chops in a walnut, cranberry, raisin, apple cider sauce, Jibladze said the food was a blend of old and new.

“We basically took what was very proficient in the 1920s and '30s, and we spiced it up a little bit,” he said. “It’s like same flavors, same stuff, but brought to the customers from the new side of things.”

Jibladze said he fell in love with the time period after he read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby” 15 years ago in the Republic of Georgia.

He knew then he wanted to create something that related to that time period, and had the idea to open a restaurant.

“It’s like my American dream came true,” Jibladze said. “I came to America 10 years ago, and after 10 years I created something which I’ve always loved and which I always wanted to do.”

The restaurant will also screen classic movies — including “Casablanca” and, of course, “The Great Gatsby” — at its outside bar on Tuesday nights.

Even though Gatsby’s has only been in the neighborhood for a week, the staff reports a positive reception.

“People love the food, they love the whole thing,” said chef Steven Smith, who’s worked at several restaurants around the island. “The ambience helps too, it’s the whole picture.”

The restaurant started with a soft opening last week, and plans to have a grand opening in mid-September.