For nearly half a century, Marc Hanover has provided Oak Bluffs with comfort food at Linda Jean’s restaurant on Circuit avenue. But as he prepares to retire from the restaurant business, the owner has decided to pass the torch on to Lisa and Winston Christie of Winston’s Kitchen, who operate just a stone’s throw away on the harbor.

The Winston’s Kitchen owners, who already do some of their kitchen prep at the bustling downtown diner, recently agreed to take over Linda Jean’s beginning in January. Although they aren’t immediately becoming owners, the couple have signed a five year lease to manage and operate the restaurant.

In a phone call to the Gazette Friday, Mr. Hanover said the decision came easily as he was searching for a successor.

“They’re quite well-known already,” he said. “It just seems like a no-brainer.”

He said his staff will stay on at the restaurant, and he’s excited to see the diner gain a second life.

Speaking with the Gazette by phone Friday, Ms. Christie said she and her husband plan to keep Linda Jean’s as it is, while bringing back some familiar favorites at the restaurant like daily dinner service.

“We don’t really want to change much because it’s just been this staple of the community,” Ms. Christie said. “A lot of people think we’re moving Winston’s Kitchen up there, and that’s not the case.”

Although the businesses will remain separate, the couple do plan to expand the lunch menu at Linda Jean’s, possibly introducing some Winston’s Kitchen favorites to the restaurant. She added that Mr. Christie is excited to show off his culinary skills as they prepare to reintroduce dinner service, with plans for seafood and seasonal fare.

“We just kind of want to continue what Marc has created,” Ms. Christie said. “Follow in his footsteps with good food at a good price.”

Ms. Christie added she has obtained a liquor license for the restaurant, with plans to introduce a cocktail menu.

She said that Winston’s Kitchen will continue to operate as she and Mr. Christie work to manage both restaurants. Ms. Christie said she, Mr. Christie and Mr. Hanover floated the possibility of one day purchasing the business.

“It’s like an opportunity of a lifetime,” Ms. Christie said. “We couldn’t be happier or more excited.”

Reflecting on his time with the business, Mr. Hanover said the nearly 50-year-old restaurant has more joy to give as it transitions to a new generation.

“Been doing it 47 years,” he said. “It’s been very good to me, and I hope it’s very good to them.”