The Lobster Roll, commonly known as LUNCH due to the iconic sign that can be seen above the restaurant’s roof, has been a hub of the Hamptons for decades. They started out with their Amagansett location and recently expanded the brand, opening another location in Southampton. This spot will be open year-round, so summer never has to end!
The Lobster Roll became recognized worldwide after its appearance on the popular Showtime series The Affair. Andrea Anthony, one of the restaurant’s co-owners, released The Lobster Roll Cookbook several years ago and later hosted Eat, Drink and Bake with Andrea. The acclaim surrounding this popular Hamptons spot, and its talented owners, has been a driving force behind the success of the business and has made for a prosperous opening of their second location.
The Southampton location embraces a seafood shack vibe that caters to vacationers and seasonal Hamptons-goers, as well as locals who now can enjoy some of the best seafood on Long Island all year long. The menu at the restaurant is plentiful and diverse, including options beyond lobster rolls and seafood alone. There is something for everyone to enjoy when they stop in at either location of this Hamptons hotspot!
Co-owner Andrea Anthony spoke more about The Lobster Roll brand, the important role the East End has played in their success, and what sets LUNCH apart from any other restaurant around.
What is The Lobster Roll all about?
AA: The Lobster Roll brand is about creating a casual, fun vibe in a retro-nautical setting. It’s about serving top quality food at reasonable prices and delivering championship customer service. We are all about hospitality.
What are the must try menu items, and what are your favorites?
AA: It goes without saying that the “must try” items are our namesake Cold Classic and Hot Lobster Rolls, but we are more than just Lobster Rolls. We have something for everyone. One of my favorite meals is our homemade Lobster Seafood Bisque, Fish-n-Chips and homemade Apple Crisp with Ice Cream topped with caramel drizzle! I also love our Wagyu Burger! When eating lite, then my go-to is our Garden Kale Salad with pistachios, feta cheese, and dried cranberries with roasted garlic vinaigrette dressing.
Since the restaurants center around their locations, how important has the East End of Long Island been to the success of The Lobster Roll?
AA: Our success has grown over the course of 57 years from 1965-present in the restaurant business on Eastern Long Island. I believe we qualify as a landmark. Our roots are on the East End, and we embrace that history.
What do you love most about the East End customers? How do the Southampton and Amagansett locations differ from one another?
AA: Since the Amagansett location is located in a seasonal resort area, many of our customers are on vacation in the height of the season either staying in their East End homes, area motels, or visiting with friends and relatives. During the pre- and post-season, we cater mostly to locals and “day trippers.” In Southampton, since our opening in December, the majority of our customers are locals, or local to the surrounding areas. I love them all! I love interacting with our guests. My happy place is looking around the dining room and seeing happy faces enjoying their experience with us!
What’s your favorite thing about being located in the Hamptons?
AA: What I love most about being located in The Hamptons is the beauty of the area; the beaches, the small quaint little towns, the farm stands, the windmills, and the local history of each town!
When did you decide to implement lobster roll kits? Can you talk more about the kits and how this adds to the experience of The Lobster Roll?
AA: The Lobster Roll Kits were implemented in response to so many requests to ship Lobster Rolls outside of our area. We started shipping nationwide in January. We are growing our brand. Shipping Lobster Rolls nationwide is part of that growth and expansion. Now, our Lobster Rolls can be enjoyed anywhere in the country. Many of our customers love the idea of sending Lobster Roll Kits to their friends and relatives as gifts from The Original Lobster Roll Restaurant!
What is the top quality or value that you feel helped you become successful at running this business and in the restaurant industry as a whole?
AA: One of the most Important aspects of being successful in this business is watching the changing food-related market trends and listening to what customers want and request, while staying true to your brand. Our menu has evolved over the years to include a full gluten free menu, plant-based choices, and non-seafood items. We have something for everyone. The key ingredient to success in the hospitality business is just that, hospitality. We are all about customer service. Our motto when recruiting service personnel is: It’s easier to train nice people than it is to train people to be nice!
What has been your greatest accomplishment working in this industry to-date?
AA: Building a strong recognizable brand was a great accomplishment after being in the business for so many years!
Do you have any advice or wisdom to share for others who might be thinking about starting a business, especially in this industry?
AA: The advice I would share with others about starting a new restaurant spans many topics. Two things that come to mind are finding the right location for the brand and building a strong team. I love surrounding myself with a team who brings their own expertise, ideas, and a fresh perspective. There is always something new to learn. I love being around smart people!
What is unique about The Lobster Roll that can’t be found or replicated at any other restaurant or in any other location?
AA: What is most “unique” about our brand is that The Lobster Roll was originated in our Amagansett location when it was a little shack on the side of the road in 1965. We popularized the Lobster Roll throughout the decades. It was then adapted by a plethora of chefs and restaurants, but one thing will never change, we are the original Lobster Roll in the New York Metro area. The masses associate “The Lobster Roll” with our brand. That is our history, it cannot be replicated.
What else do you want people to know about The Lobster Roll?
AA: Our motto in Amagansett is, “This is where summer begins.” In Southampton, “This is where summer never ends.”
For more information about The Lobster Roll, visit https://lobsterroll.com.