Special to Newsday - Some nights it seems — when catching live music in Patchogue — the best seat in the house may actually be outside the “house,” on the street itself.
For those who haven't either visited Patchogue Village at some point over the past 10 years — or aren't aware of the community’s doings — the area has undergone a massive movement of revitalization by way of the addition of new living spaces, a strengthening of its arts scene and a transformation into a hub for pubs, clubs and party-friendly eateries. The results are tangible — especially for anyone spending a weekend evening along the neighborhood’s main drag — as a scene once home to a midlevel sort of energy formerly inspired by nothing more than a few restaurants and local bars has evolved into a vibrant prospect fueled by adults of all ages and styles hopping between the many fresh late-night spots to be explored on Main Street between West and Maple Avenues (as well as The Emporium at 9 Railroad Ave. and the waterside venues to be found on River Avenue).
But when it comes to the actual sensation of Patchogue’s new vitality, the feeling cannot only be viewed and felt but heard as well — a quality well-delivered this past Friday night around 10 p.m. via a couple of bustling hangouts sharing their live shows with passersby.
Known for its meatball-driven menu, That Meetball Place (54 W. Main St., 631-569-5888) is also a popular pub — and on this occasion it opened its storefront gate and physically placed the night’s scheduled band (party-rock cover act Fivestone) against the store’s sidewalk border, with the group facing in toward the crowd. The result was unique: guests inside got the full show, while those walking along the curb could stop and stand directly behind the band, only inches from the drummer. Music audibly filled Main Street for several feet in both directions — yet wasn't discernibly causing any ordinance issues, as regular police patrols were visibly on close watch in the vicinity.
Meanwhile, a similar situation was also underway around the corner from That Meetball Place, as freestyle and dance songs were simultaneously echoing down South Ocean Avenue. As it turns out, the wine bar and lounge Bella Vino (23 Ocean Ave., 631-569-2397) was also featuring live entertainment — a woman covering classic rhythmic jams — and she too was easily spotted from the street, positioned only a few feet from the venue’s doorway.
At the same moment, a musician playing acoustic guitar was viewable in the window of Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. (41 E. Main St., 631-627-3966) — but in this case the sound was completely inaudible from the outside. Nonetheless, for the dozens of people meandering down Main Street in Patchogue at that time, there was plenty of palpable music already available.