It almost sounds like a heist movie. Roberta and Paul Gillespie sold their Underhill bakery, the Flour Shop, two years ago and left the restaurant business to run a vacation ownership office and bake bagels, respectively.
But the sixtysomething couple just couldn’t stay away from the excitement. Last week, in search of their one last score, they officially reopened their restaurant, the Hungry Lion, in the former Olde Yankee Restaurant spot in Jericho.
This is the third incarnation of the Hungry Lion, which the Gillespies first opened on the Mountain Road in Jeffersonville in 1996. The name came from the reggae-loving pair’s favorite Rastafarian restaurant in Negril, Jamaica. They moved their restaurant to the Smugglers’ Notch Inn seven years ago, before selling the spot to open the Flour Shop.
Fans of the previous Hungry Lions will find the Jericho fare familiar. Paul Gillespie is “a full-service chef plus pastry chef,” says his wife. That expertise enables them to send out freshly baked bread with every meal and offer homemade desserts, including chocolate mousse and dense brownies for ice cream sundaes.
Roberta Gillespie says she and her husband buy local ingredients whenever possible for their eclectic, homestyle American meals. The restaurant’s specialty is chicken stuffed with cheddar, apples and almonds. Other dishes include coconut and yellow-curry tofu, raspberry-glazed duck breast and homemade veggie burgers.
The Gillespies hope old customers of the Jeffersonville Hungry Lions will make the trip to Jericho to try the new place. “People have fond memories of the name,” says Roberta Gillespie. “It had a good following and a good reputation.” Hear them roar.