Six months after the longtime caterer at the Brentwood Country Club skipped town, Islip officials have reached an agreement with a new concessionaire to take over the venue's events.
The board voted last week to enter into a five-year lease, with two five-year options to extend, with Lessing's, a caterer and event planner with locations throughout Islip and Long Island.
"We feel very confident that they'll do a good job down there, restoring Brentwood Country Club to what it was once," Islip Parks Commissioner Joseph Montuori said. He said two companies responded to a request for proposals, and officials were impressed with Lessing's offerings and plans for the town-owned club, which he said needs "love and care."
Lessing's is expected to take over on June 1, Montuori said.
"They have to put in $600,000 worth of capital. They've committed to put in $150,000 in improvements right up front," Montuori said, including "bringing the building up to standards and modernizing the building . . . It needs to be updated, the bathrooms aren't in bad shape, but the flooring" needs work, he said.
A town spokesman said the former caterer, Forlano Enterprises, left the club "in pretty poor shape, so improvements need to be made."
Islip Town officials said Forlano's owner Samuel Vergari was being evicted and owed the town $215,000 when he abandoned the country club in October, without telling his staff, on the same day he was supposed to turn his keys over to the town. A town spokeswoman said in October that Vergari also took $40,000 of customers' event deposits.
At the time, Vergari's Brooklyn-based lawyer, Walter Anderocci, said the corporation had no assets and "will have to be closed."
Trio Restaurant, which caters at the Holbrook Country Club, stepped in to handle previously scheduled events in Brentwood, officials said.