For around 30 years, summer in Island Park had been defined by the vibrant waterside scene at Paddy McGee’s. For now, at least, the party’s over. Slammed by superstorm Sandy, the seafood restaurant and bar is not reopening. Nor is its next door sibling spot, Coyote Mexicano.
“I’m still waiting to get insurance issues resolved,” said John Vitale, who owns both restaurants. “Paddy McGee’s suffered tremendous damage because of its sheer size. Coyote wasn’t as bad because it was a little more elevated.” If he were to rebuild Paddy McGee's, Vitale said he would certainly elevate it.
For now, though, he's concentrating on other holdings in the neighborhood, which include a King Kullen shopping center and a catering facility, the Bridgeview Yacht Club. Vitale is also a partner at Jordan's Lobster Farms, with brothers Steve and Mike Jordan. Until recently, the fish market and lobster wholesaler sold its lobster rolls and steamed lobsters from a window and people ate at outdoor tables. This year, Vitale and the Jordans added indoor table seating for around 40. “It’s taking up some of the slack,” Vitale said.
But, clearly, not enough. Vitale estimated that Paddy McGee’s hosted well over 1,000 people in the course of a single summer evening.