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Northport Fish & Lobster Co. drama continues as store manager violates court orders

Village by: Chrissy Ruggeri, November 9, 2021

Sam Luby apologizes to the Northport Village Board and community at the October 5 board meeting.

At the end of last Wednesday’s Northport Village Board meeting, the board went into executive session and then agreed on a resolution to authorize Village attorney Stuart Besen to take action in Supreme Court with regard to filing a motion to hold Sam Luby, the manager of the Northport Fish & Lobster Co., in contempt of court for violating court orders to stay off the property.

This comes just one month after Luby made a public apology to the community and the board at the October 5 Village board meeting. “I’d like to apologize to the community for what’s going on at the Fish and Lobster,” he said. “We are really trying our best to get things up to grade, and I want to thank the Village for all their help.” He also apologized to the market’s neighbors before saying, “Let’s just all get along.”

A longtime Northport resident, Luby said he and Northport Fish & Lobster Co. owner Eric Gusew were trying to get the store on track. And all signs point to that being true, with work being done at the location daily within the confines of the court order. But Luby still isn’t permitted to be on the property, and that’s where the drama comes into play, again.

At last week’s Village board meeting, Joe Sabia, who lives on Cherry Street and owns the car mechanic shop right next door to the fish market, said that Luby is on the property at all hours of the night. Sabia said that one night, he called Mayor Damon McMullen at 4am because Luby was there making noise on a trailer when he shouldn’t even be on the property. Sabia said, “We can’t keep playing this cat and mouse game. They are disrupting the neighborhood, they are disrupting everyone on Cherry Street and on Soper Avenue... It’s gone on too long.”

Mayor McMullen explained that permits were issued to Gusew so that the building can be brought to compliance. At this time, Gusew is allowed to be on the property with the general contractor. He said that “things change on a daily basis” and when Gusew or Luby are there when they shouldn’t be, they are asked to leave by law enforcement.

Because Luby isn’t permitted to be on the premises by court order, but continues to visit the site, the board decided to move forward on filing a motion to hold him in contempt of court.