Packs buy three North Suffolk restaurants

Published 2:11 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

By Ed Pugh and Stephen Faleski

Staff Writers

Smithfield’s Pack brothers have purchased three restaurants in North Suffolk.

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Randy Pack, who co-owns the Smithfield Station restaurant, hotel and marina and Surry Seafood Co., confirmed to The Smithfield Times that he, his brother, Brian, and Ken Dodd have purchased Decoys Seafood, River Stone Chophouse and Vintage Tavern from M&M Hospitality, owned by Brian and Teresa Mullins.

According to land transfer reports from the city of Suffolk, in separate transactions on May 9, Vintage Tavern, located at 1900 Governors Pointe Road, sold for $2.225 million; River Stone Chophouse, located at 8032 Harbour View Blvd., sold for $3.8 million; and Decoys Seafood sold for $7.5 million.

Brian Mullins is the developer of a proposed 130-home condominium community slated for 14 acres behind the Royal Farms on South Church Street in Smithfield, dubbed “The Cottages at Battery Park.” 

Pack, who serves on Smithfield’s Town Council, said Mullins’ sale of the three restaurants to him won’t create a conflict when Mullins applies for rezoning.

“The purchase of the restaurants, at appraised value, is unrelated to any consideration for the Cottages at Battery Park,” Pack said.

Pack, in February, joined other council members in a unanimous vote to approve Mullins’ request for a change in the town’s zoning ordinance that will allow the developer to seek attached residential zoning for the property.

It is my job to be a stand-up man and do what is in the best interest of the town,” Pack said. “Anything less than that would be unethical. I have no financial interest in the Cottages at Battery, nor do I plan to open any businesses within. … To date, I have been in favor of the Cottages at Battery because I have felt that the proposed product by Mr. Mullins is a better product than what is approved by right on the site and less dense.”

Pack, who also serves on the town’s Planning Commission, abstained from voting last year in either capacity on the 267-home Grange at 10Main mixed-use community that received rezoning approval from the Town Council in December. He’d disclosed in 2022 that he’d entered negotiations with Grange developer Joseph Luter IV to potentially operate a restaurant at the site.

“I demonstrated on the Grange that when I do have financial interest I refrain from voting. I hope my record speaks for itself,” Pack said.

Pack emphasized the new owners’ commitment to maintaining the same quality and atmosphere at the three Suffolk restaurants while planning minor changes. Those changes, he said, won’t affect the restaurants’ names.

“You’re not going to see anything drastically different on any of the restaurants,” he said. “We think that the models are really well done.”

Pack said improvements to Decoys’ deck area are already being made to make the space more family-friendly, “just kind of a nice place to visit by boat and by car and everything else.”

He said the group had admired the properties for years, and each restaurant “fit the portfolio.”

“My brother and I are in growth mode with our company. And these three restaurants fit our portfolio very well,” Pack said. “They’re restaurants we’re very, very proud of. The Mullinses have done a great job with (them) over the years, and we’re really excited to be a part of them.”