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Raffle held for Long Beach businesses lost in May fire

A raffle was held Monday to help owners

A raffle was held Monday to help owners of Sorrento's pizzeria and Italian market, and Abyss Fine Art & Tattoo Studio rebuild after a May fire destroyed both businesses.   Credit: Jim Staubitser

Gift certificates to gyms and restaurants were up for grabs Monday, along with works of art and other items, in a raffle to raise money for workers at a Long Beach pizzeria and a tattoo parlor, both destroyed in a May fire.

Sorrento's, an Italian market and pizza restaurant, and Abyss Fine Art & Tattoo Studio, were burned to the ground in the early morning fire on May 26. There were no injuries reported. The fire was ruled accidental, said Nassau County Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro at the time.

On Monday, a line grew outside the Anchor Tavern on West Park Avenue as people came to help support employees of the businesses. The fundraiser was put on by owners of the tavern and Shine's Bar, also in Long Beach, to raise money for the employees of the businesses.

"As a fellow business owner, you really feel sad to have everything you own lost," said Megan Casey, owner of Shine’s Bar. "We want them to have seed money to get back to work."

At the time of the fire, Sorrento’s had 10 employees at the restaurant. Since the fire, the New York Beach Club in Atlantic Beach has let Sorrento’s use its ovens to make pizzas, said Sorrento's co-owner Steve Cianciotto.

"They try to help out their own," said Cianciotto of Valley Stream about the local business community. "Our competition has helped out. Hopefully we’ll be back as soon they get that building rebuilt."

When Abyss caught fire, tattoo artist Ronda Xanthos said, "It was like my whole life has been uprooted." Xanthos said she and the other four artists at the shop have been working temporarily at a tattoo parlor in Merrick.

The fire started at Sorrento’s, located on 255 W. Park Ave, and spread next door to the tattoo parlor, Uttaro said at the time. It took about 150 firefighters to contain the blaze, he said.

When Xanthos arrived at Monday's fundraiser she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity.

"It’s very emotional to see so much support from the community to help," she said.

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