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Hurricane Grill & Wings opens in Syosset

Bob Engel, managing partner and Dan Steele, an

Bob Engel, managing partner and Dan Steele, an area director, raise hurricane flags outside Hurricane Grill and Wings. (Aug. 25, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

Talk about timing: An eatery called Hurricane Grill & Wings in Syosset is poised to open with a splash this weekend.

Still, you'd never have guessed anything dire was brewing if you dropped by on Thursday, when the place was a whirlwind of happy activity. Outside the door, Syosset artist Jacqueline DeBari was putting finishing touches on a colorful exterior mural depicting lush palm trees. Inside the spacious, tropical-themed restaurant, a training team from corporate headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., was getting the servers up to speed.

Meanwhile, franchisees Michael Friedman, Bob Engel and Dean George were focusing on feeding a crowd; Saturday and Sunday will be the restaurant's "soft opening" when a total of600 invited guests -- friends, family and local public officials -- will be served lunch and dinner. On the menu: wings, salads, burgers and sandwiches. On Monday, Hurricane is slated to open to the public.

Within a franchise group made up of 41 restaurants -- most in Florida, two others on Long Island (in Port Jefferson Station and Levittown) -- the Syosset restaurant is the first Hurricane nationwide to open during a hurricane. In fact, recalls Dan Steele, a corporate employee, the only other storm-related opening was when the Port Jefferson Station restaurant debuted -- during a blizzard.

For the present, everyone is getting ready to feed the crowds, cooking up a storm.

Hurricane Grill & Wings is at 275 Jericho Tpke., Syosset, 516-921-9464

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