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Filming Set for Reality Show About Toast Coffeehouse

Announcement comes as Port Jeff's hottest breakfast spot plans to franchise.

Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes with the people who make up in Port Jefferson, or had dreams of opening a restaurant just like the hip breakfast spot? According to Toast’s owner Terry Scarlatos, you’ll have the chance to do both very soon.

On one hand, Toast will be the center of a new reality series when a pilot starts filming sometime in the beginning of February, an opportunity that will coincide with the eatery's plan to begin franchising the quirky coffee shop with a few investors who are customers and big fans.

And funny enough, it was the credit crunch that brought Toast its big break.

Scarlatos, who lives in Poquott, said that when he went on the “money hunt” to expand the restaurant last year he found banks weren’t lending. Ultimately, he funded the expansion on his own but in the process one potential investor put the idea of franchising into his mind. A customer who happened to be a partner in a television production company asked Scarlatos if he’d be interested in documenting the process of franchising for a reality show.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Scarlatos said. “And it’s in my nature to kind of look for the next thing.”

April will mark 10 years since Toast opened in the village, uniquely paring a breakfast menu with a gallery of emerging artists.

“What makes Toast great is the opposite of a franchise,” said Scarlatos.

That may be counterintuitive, but it’s exactly what he thinks will make it work. Rather than taking the carbon copy idea of franchising he said he’d like to blaze a new trail and “take a restaurant and ‘Toastify’ it.”

Scarlatos is encouraged by the fact that over the years people have told him that it would be great if Toast Coffeehouse opened in other towns on Long Island.

The most important thing is that the franchise stays true to the quality of the menu and energy of the original, including aspects like the mismatched cups and the rotating art shows. He admits that there is some leeway for making it work. Except, of course, for the coffee.

“It’s definitely not easy,” he said. “Over the years you spend time defining what you are.”

The art gallery and breakfast atmosphere is the heart of community for Scarlatos. This mixture attracts interesting personalities to Toast and that’s why he’s betting the reality show will be picked up after the production company shops the pilot around to television studios.

“Toast Coffeehouse Confidential” will look at the cast of people who run the restaurant on a daily basis, from the artist hanging his work for the first time to the career waitress. Scarlatos thinks it’ll be easy since “everybody is a natural character” at Toast.

As the owner, Scarlatos said his role portrays running a business on two levels, the big picture and the day-to-day, capturing what it takes to prepare and execute a restaurant.

“The show will focus on the process,” he said.

Filming may disrupt the flow of the business a little but Scarlatos said that the producers have “lots of great technology and experience” so that they remain mostly in the background.

“They refer to themselves as ninjas,” he said.

The village is on board, according to Scarlatos, saying he’s gotten their blessing to shoot the pilot.

“We’re hoping to film in lots of great spots and capture a lot of the surrounding atmosphere,” he said. “It’ll be great for Port Jefferson.”

Mayor Margot Garant said that the production company will need a permit to film on the streets of the village but said that “the background and atmosphere at Toast is a superb reflection of Port Jefferson's energy, culture and pace.”

“I’m thrilled for Terry,” Garant said. “Toast is one of the many great assets of Port Jefferson. And his French Toast rocks.”

Where this will all lead in the coming months, Scarlatos is still not sure.

“It’s part of our journey now. I have no expectations,” he said. “That’s how I move through the world.”

Daisy January 12, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I think this is wonderful and will add a little class to reality shows. Go Port Jeff.
Joseph J. Neuschatz M.D. January 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Bravo Terry! I still remember what local bureaucrats put you through 10years ago.
Amanda Eckart January 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Sounds very exciting! Good luck :)
Mark Kauffman January 13, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Good luck Terry!
Andrew January 16, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Keep that positve attitude -well done Terry
Jena Turner January 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I raise my glass and Toast you!
peter May 04, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Great show!
Matthew Lott May 04, 2012 at 11:04 AM
The show will finally reveal just how boring life is in Downtown "Port" !
Matthew Lott May 04, 2012 at 11:06 AM
AgentName J CHRISTOPHER LYNCH Businesses that J CHRISTOPHER LYNCH Represents ... Entity Name Type Status Formed Alliance Sciences LLC LLC Admin. Dissolved 7/16/2002 Echo Supply Company, LLC LLC Current-Active 2/18/2008 HomeHealthNetwork, Inc. BUS Current-Active 5/29/2009 Morphormics, Inc. BUS Current-Active 1/31/2002 NTOUCH TECHNOLOGIES, INCORPORATED BUS Multiple 9/21/1995 Sports Mining, Inc. BUS Admin. Dissolved 7/16/2007 Toast Coffeehouse Confidential Reality TV Show, LLC LLC Current-Active 9/29/2011 Triangle Synergy, Inc. BUS Admin. Dissolved 2/19/2008 http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/Agent.aspx?AgentId=1855475
james brandenstein June 04, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Its about time something Innovative is being done in The Village .
james brandenstein June 04, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Maybe he can have some background actors dressed up like characters from the TV Series "The Prisoner" (The 1968 Version) .
artist1958 June 05, 2012 at 11:38 AM
How about the Star Wars Bar scene.They could dress people up as aliens and have them in the background eating Toast Pancakes!
Matthew Lott June 05, 2012 at 12:03 PM
You mean like the people from "Upper Port" ?
artist1958 June 05, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Ouch! Cant touch that one.
Matthew Lott June 05, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Well, the "Lower Port" denizens have segregated them and pushed them Out of "downtown"...including any of that Government "clean up" money. Personally, "downtown" is only good on the off season..during the summer it's horrendous and Nothing to offer "locals".
James from Suffolk June 06, 2012 at 07:51 PM
The owner does a fine job and the staff makes you feel at home.My wife and i wish them all the best with their new endeavor.

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