Brian Rosenberg needed a table. The nightlife entrepreneur had clients in town but no dinner reservation. So, he called his friend Rich Alino.
“He said, ‘I’ll take care of it.’ Next thing you know, my guests and I are sitting at the best table in the house at Rare650," Rosenberg said. "It was amazing.”
Alino, an influential figure in the Long Island hospitality and nightlife scene, had a talent for entertaining. The Westbury native was involved with a number of events and venues, including Aura in East Meadow, Rare650 in Syosset and the Thursday night party at Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn.
“One of the amazing things about Rich was how good he was at getting things done,” Rosenberg said. “He would get DJs and bands to play events, no matter what — and if he was throwing an after-party somewhere, he’d get people to show up.”
Alino died April 8 due to the coronavirus. He had previously suffered from myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood malignancy, according to his sister, Anne Alino. He was 56.
Anne Alino remembers her brother as a protective sibling who always watched out for her.
“When I would bring a date home, he would vet them like he was my father. Everyone I dated didn't get intimidated, they just loved him because he was such a great guy,” she said. “His friends would tell me how he would brag about how proud he was of me. But I was more impressed by him.”
Rich Alino’s other sisters, Kathleen Alino and Eileen Connor, both described him as an insightful, outgoing man with an “infectious smile.”
“People were naturally drawn to his friendly and inviting personality,” Kathleen Alino and Eileen Connor said in a joint statement. “To us, he was our big brother, our protector when we were young and our cheerleader as an adult.
"We always looked up to him and admired his bravery and resourcefulness throughout his life. He faced many challenges and always came through to the other side.”
Rich Alino's cousin, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, described him as someone who “loved people and was always in a good mood.”
His interests were wide ranging, from medicine and science to music and photography. He was also known for his trumpet playing and loved motorcycles and sports cars, particularly Corvettes.
Many of Alino's peers took to social media to praise his effect on Long Island nightlife. A talented fundraiser, Alino helped to raise more than $2 million for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund through the Long Island Hospitality Ball, Rosenberg said. Alino was also involved with the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.
Along with his three sisters, Alino is survived by his mother, Rosemary Alino.