Erin Geismar caught up with William "Woody" Worth at Bruno's Restaurant & Bar in Lake Ronkonkoma for a quick chat about his experiences in the Ronkonkomas.
William "Woody" Worth
Community: Ronkonkoma resident of 12 years
Occupation: Sales manager, John Hancock Life Insurance
How long have you lived in Ronkonkoma? Twelve years. I lived in Holbrook before.
Why move to Ronkonkoma? We wanted to stay in the school district. Holbrook is the Sachem district also.
What do you like about living here? I told my wife, if you never needed to drive, you could live here. Everything you need is in Ronkonkoma, and you can get to it by bike or walking. We’ve got the Kohl’s department store, there are restaurants, bars. You don’t have to go anywhere. We can walk to this restaurant in the middle of a snowstorm.
Does the lake have any impact on your life living here? Growing up it did. I used to go fishing all the time as a kid -- so then, yes. Now, no. The loss of the Bavarian Inn was huge.
Why is that? And can you tell me a little about it? It was a German restaurant that opened in the late '50s and everybody that came to the bungalows around the lake -- that was their place. But then the lake’s water levels started to rise and it somehow overtook the Bavarian Inn. They shut it down, and it’s in bad shape now; there’s mold in the basement. Now it’s just sitting there, and you can’t use it. You can’t go anywhere near it or that part of the lake.
But you could fish from other parts of the lake. Why did that impact you? The Bavarian Inn is on the north side of the lake, so that was really our access point. We could go on the other side of the lake to the south side there is a town access -- but we just became saltwater fisherman instead.
Is there anything else you like about living here other than amenities? I live on an Indian Burial Ground, that’s pretty interesting.