Thomas Jefferson didn’t visit the building. And we don’t have any information on whether P.T. Barnum ever stopped in with his interior decorator (probably not).
But, thousands of residents and people from surrounding communities did get their carpets at Cappy’s, one of the oldest serving businesses on Main Street before it was razed recently to make room for a new three-story, mixed-use residential and commercial project set to open in early 2021.
The site is currently an open lot and according to the builder, everything was completely demolished after they received their permit. The building did not go without some semblance of ceremony and although it was not an official historic site, there are those who wanted to preserve some part of it.
Three signs were saved off the building before it was taken down, according to Rob Gitto, vice president of the Port Jefferson-based Gitto Group who is the developer of the new building set to replace Cappy’s.
The Historical Society of Port Jefferson kept one of the signs, The Gitto Group took another, and the Capobianco family, who owned the business and the building, took the third.
“We took one sign that we might incorporate into the design of the interior of the building,” said Gitto.
As previously reported, the developers will be replacing the property at 440 Main Street with a mixed-use building consisting of 46 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments and 2,700 square feet of retail on the ground floor. The Capobianco family is in partnership with The Gitto Group on the project.
Gitto said that a waiting list for the apartments might begin as soon as early next year. The developer is in talks with a few retailers to take up the two available retail units on the ground floor. One will house a quick-service food operator, essentially a fast food place or a limited-service restaurant with room for up to 15 seats. A deli or bagel store would also be an option for the space. The other unit would be a store or professional office.
The builder is waiting for final permits to start construction, which should come in the next week or two. In the meantime, they have been moving equipment onto the lot in preparation.
Gitto said that the project should be completed by the first quarter of 2021 or earlier if the weather cooperates.
For now, residents will have to get used to a vacant lot where Cappy’s used to stand. It wasn’t all for naught. The Port Jefferson Fire Department used the building to run practice drills on the property before it was demoed and with the signs preserved the legacy of Cappy’s will live on.
Gitto said that there was some nostalgia running up to the demolition of the building.
“A lot of memories were in there,” he said.
Below are renderings of the luxury apartments coming to Port Jefferson.
Top: The empty lot that once stood Cappy’s Carpet.