New retail stores and restaurants have opened in downtown Patchogue, continuing the revival of Main Street as a major business draw and tourist attraction.
Most of the new businesses have opened since November and more are expected by summer.
Patchogue has seen a major revitalization in recent years, with more than 700 apartments constructed downtown that have brought in new residents, artists and visitors from across Long Island. The village’s makeover was told in an April 2014 Newsday story.
“It still amazes me the continued transformation. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down,” said David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.
Just in the past two weeks, SmallCakes Cupcakery and Creamery, a cupcake shop, and Catch, an oyster bar, have opened. Last Thursday, Nicole Ramirez, 23, general manager of SmallCakes, went back and forth between customers at the register and baking in the back.
Her shop was packed with people ordering a variety of cupcakes, including vanilla, salted caramel crunch and red velvet. She said she initially looked at Smithtown to open her business. That was before her real estate agent told her Patchogue was the best option.
“Patchogue is up and coming. There’s so much going on,” said Ramirez, who has a business management degree from Stony Brook University.
Catch owner Michael Avino, 32, said he originally wanted to open a hot dog diner, but settled on the oyster bar because of his familiarity with clamming and seafood.
He said his father, Jim Avino, has owned restaurants in Bellport.
In addition to these two businesses, Flight, a bistro-type restaurant, opened in January. Swell Taco, a Babylon eatery, will open a branch on Main Street this spring.
Ellie J & Company Retail Therapy, a gift shop, plans to open in March. Bay Shore-based Local Burger is scheduled to open this summer. So, too, is a craft brewer called the Patchogue Brewing Experience.
“Patchogue has become a true tourist destination and an alternative to the Hamptons for an extended weekend getaway,” Kennedy said. “We’re establishing some new retail to create that vibrant mix that you want to see in any community.”
For years, Patchogue officials have tried without success so far to lure a hotel to bolster the more than 25 downtown restaurants along with the Broadway-type shows at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, which underwent a $1 million renovation last year.
Officials view the village as a place for Long Island MacArthur Airport travelers or other tourists to stay overnight. There is also access to the Long Island Rail Road and the ferry to Fire Island.
Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, which acquired Blue Point Brewery Co. in 2014, is set to move into the former Briarcliffe College site on West Main Street this year.
“Probably the most exciting is the relocation of the Blue Point Brewery to expand to Main Street,” Kennedy said.