Getting takeout from Down Port restaurants has gotten a whole lot easier for Port Jefferson residents thanks to this new initiative.

In March, the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District in collaboration with the Village of Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce set up a free delivery service for those who live in 11777 zip code. That area includes Port Jefferson, Belle Terre, and a small sliver of Port Jefferson Station.

Under the program, Port Jefferson hired drivers to pick up orders from local restaurants, as well as select merchants, and drop them to patron’s doorsteps.

This helps cuts the cost for both the consumer and restaurant by not having to deal with surcharges from delivery service companies such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.

“It also allows restaurants to do delivery without having to pay a driver,” said James Luciano, owner of PJ Lobster House, who is helping to coordinate this service.

The cost of the drivers is being paid for by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District.

Originally, the delivery system began running on weekends only but quickly expanded to run seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m.

“The idea is to take one thing off the plate of the already struggling restaurants,” said Roger Rutherford, head of the Port Jeff BID. “Delivery costs can sometimes be very high, also giving the option to deliver rather than getting out to pick up takeout helps with keeping people socially distant.”

The full list of Port Jeff businesses participating in this program can be seen on portjeff.com/opentoday.

Top: A double cheeseburger from the PJ Lobster House (credit: Facebook)