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