YARMOUTH — The Sea Grass Bistro will close later this month, as owner and chef Stephanie Brown becomes executive chef at a private club in Falmouth.
The popular Route 1 restaurant will serve its final regular dinner April 25, followed by a reception-style buffet and open cash bar April 26.
Brown, who has operated Sea Grass for eight years – a feat in the restaurant industry, where 60 percent of all establishments don’t last more than three to five years – will start working May 1 at The Woodlands Club.
The position at The Woodlands came as a surprise, Brown said, because she was not searching for a new career.
“I didn’t go looking for the opportunity, it came to me,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of success and I’m on such a high note right now. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I had to make a choice.”
Brown said the restaurant is now for sale.
She also denied speculation the restaurant’s closing is related to the opening of Gather on Main Street. Brown said the relationship among Yarmouth restaurants, is based on mutual aid and support, not competition.
“The community can support more than one restaurant. Each one offers something unique and different and I think people like that,” she said. “When I came to Yarmouth, (the other restaurants) embraced and helped me.”
On one of her first nights in business, she recalled, Sea Grass ran out out of napkins and ended up borrowing some from another Yarmouth restaurant.
“You can ask your neighbors for a cup of sugar here. It’s great and you don’t find that everywhere,” she said. “(The business is) not as cut throat. That’s going to be the hardest part to walk away from.”
And while the restaurant is closing, Brown said patrons who desire the Sea Grass style will be able to find it at The Woodlands.
“I’ll bring the style and influences of Sea Grass, while respecting what the club already has,” she said.
Brown said most of her Sea Grass employees have found other jobs or have other full-time employment.
Brown, who is one of few female chef-owners in the area, said she has enjoyed the experience and will miss the environment of her restaurant.
“The experience with the restaurant is something like the equivalent to nurturing a child,” she said. “That’s obviously going to be very sad to leave, and patrons feel the same way. I guess I’m just overwhelmed with how many people have come up and supported me in this decision. … Nothing is ever the same and change is always difficult, but that’s not a bad thing.”
Stephanie Brown, rear, owner and chef at Sea Grass Bistro on Route 1 in Yarmouth, sorts prepared food ahead of the 5 p.m. dinner Tuesday as a staff member helps. Brown is closing Sea Grass April 26 after eight years to become executive chef at Woodlands Country Club in Falmouth.