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Nightlife slows down as Island recovers

New York Avenue in Huntington is usually bustling

New York Avenue in Huntington is usually bustling on weekends, but in the days after Sandy, few people came to take in the restaurants, bars and lounges that line this road. (Nov. 4, 2012) Credit: Ian J. Stark

As the Island continues its recovery from superstorm Sandy, the idea of heading out at night is still justifiably not commonplace. As expected, clubs and bars saw a decrease in attendance this past weekend.

One example where that held true was in Huntington Village. As of Friday night (Nov. 2), much of the power was restored to the hot spots on New York Avenue and Wall Street. But while most weekend midnights in this town see heavy crowds year-round, the streets – while not empty – were very quiet. Two hallmarks of the usual Friday scene are often long lines at Little Vincent’s Pizzeria (329 New York Ave., 631-423-9620) and people flowing into and around Honu Kitchen & Cocktails (363 New York Ave. Huntington 631-421-6900), as both are often teeming while customers until early on Saturday morning – yet at that typically busy hour the entire town was practically empty. “Friday was very slow but [Saturday] picked up a little and it was good to see people trying to get back to normal as much as they can,” says Tommy McNicholas, one of the owners of Honu. According to McNicholas, the restaurant and lounge had power and heat restored by Wednesday, Oct. 31, but had no TV capability until Saturday, Nov. 3.

McNicholas and his partners also own Kasey's Kitchen and Cocktails in Rockville Centre (23 N. Park Ave., 516-766-5049), and with the devastation affecting that venue’s South Shore community so directly, they have been sending necessities to those in need living in hard-hit areas like Long Beach, the Rockaways and Breezy Point in Queens. “It's a shame with what has happened and we personally feel that people should get their families safe and sound,” McNicholas continued, and when asked about the eventual return of his customers, he explained that “when people are ready to go out, we will be here to serve them a great meal.”

Sunday nights are not overly busy at any point of the year in Huntington Village, but during the late evening of Nov. 4 it was virtually without clientele. However, as the recovery progresses around Long Island, perhaps this coming week may prove easier for many to get back to their normal routines -- even possibly finding light-enough moments to venture out for a break. As for Honu and its neighborhood, McNicholas is very positive, stating, “Huntington is a very strong community and it will bounce back.”

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