Montauk Life Montauk Life - July 2018 (5) - Page 54

GOSMANS HISTORY 75 YEARS YOUNG! I t’s not often we get to blow-out the commercial candles on a cake this big! But, with Gosman’s Restaurant celebrating its diamond anniversary we’re just going to have to pucker up our lips and blow! Hard to believe a tiny little clam shack could have that kind of staying power, huh? And I doubt Mary and John Gosman thought it the case when they opened their doors in 1943.   IN THE BEGINNING Then Montauk was a tiny fishing town with almost no tourists. Save for the Montauk Yacht Club the bulk of the land around Lake Montauk was undeveloped. There was a war on for heaven’s sake! Heck of a time to open a business, huh? But they did and starting with a small dock, a fish house and postage stamp clam bar they slowly built one of the largest enter- prises on the East End. Still in family hands its three main restaurants, wholesale fish and lobster busi- ness, retail fish market, dozen of stores and collec- tion of motels are a destination every East End visitor wants to see. Of course Mary and John are long gone. But their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchil- dren continue to run this multi-faceted business. At the top Mary and Bob’s sons John Sr., Emmet and Richard still keep their fingers on the main switches. Until just a few months ago their sister was as key an element of this complex business as any. Roberta Donovan Gosman passed away May 10 at the well-deserved age of 85. A hard-headed business woman in a world dominated by men she help guide this complex through most of the past 50 years. Her principle responsibility was running the main restaurant, a job that made her in many ways the public face of Gosman’s. On hand daily greeting guests, many of whom she came to know by name over the decades they loyally patronized this most famous East End restaurant, there wasn’t a detail too small for her watchful eye to note, correct and improve. Over her time she helped build a simple clam bar and wholesale fish business grow into one of the largest and most recognizable businesses on the East End. A must-stop for anyone looking for the freshest seafood, lobsters pulled from local waters, sitting on one of the most beautiful waterfront spots on the East Coast, Gosman’s is an irreplaceable re- sort resource. It goes into its 75th year with the ex- tended Gosman clan continuing to keep their steady hands on the wheel. It will however miss her smile, laugh and larger-than-life presence.   THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT As for the future like all things especially in Mon- tauk, change is always a possibility. Certainly the re- cent sales of Gurney’s, the Panoramic View and this year the Montauk Yacht Club highlights that. Will Gosman’s stay intact for another 75 years? Now that would be a lovely thought. Something that would put a celestial smile on Mary, Bob and Roberta’s faces no doubt. But Gosman’s are pragmatists and if things were to change someday it would no doubt be on their terms and timetable. In the meantime this iconic destination continues as the benchmark for hospital- ity, dining, shopping and a carefree day spent watch- ing some of the most beautiful scenery on the East End. Long may she reign, long may she stay. Mary and Bob Gosman built a business to last the generations. 54 | Montauk Life | JULY 2018 www.M ۝]ZYK