BY EDUARDO ALFONZO
Bayside’s Safari Beach Club has been replaced by Hatfields, a new restaurant that’s on a mission to create its own identity as the neighborhood’s newest watering hole.
For the last few months, the Safari Beach Club, a well-known restaurant on Bell Boulevard, underwent a renovation and relaunched as Hatfields. The eatery’s manager, Mike Atthegreen, said it’s a “fresh, clean slate” for the eatery.
“Everything here is brand new, fresh and updated as it comes,” Atthegreen said.
Having lived on Bell Boulevard for 30 years, Atthegreen was also involved with Safari Beach Club since its early days. Over the past few years, however, the restaurant gained a bad reputation due to a series of incidents that occurred.
In 2014, a man from Whitestone was charged with attempted murder after stabbing a man multiple times during a bar fight. That was followed by an incident that occurred last November, where a man assaulted a patron.
The incidents gained much attention on social media, and the rumor mill churned. Atthegreen said that many of the accusations made on social media were false, and since Hatfields opened last month, there have been no incidents thanks, in part, to the change of the security staff.
While the full menu will not be available until next week, Atthegreen hopes that people will stop by and enjoy themselves in this new environment. Hatfields will be serving traditional pub fare, including hot wings, burgers and macaroni and cheese.
“I can’t wait to see people’s faces where they start tasting the food here and want to come back and bring their families,” Atthegreen said.