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Business News

Flushing Bank in Shirley
 Flushing Bank in Islandia

Flushing Bank recently hosted two ribbon-cutting ceremonies at its new Islandia and Shirley locations in Suffolk County. These are two of the four locations resulting from the Bank’s recent acquisition of Empire National Bank.  Members of Flushing Bank’s management team were joined by several state and local elected officials at the event.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity made possible by our recent acquisition of Empire National Bank to expand our Long Island presence and introduce Flushing Bank to the Suffolk County market. We look forward to building upon the relationships that have been established with our customers and expanding our banking services to the individuals, families, and businesses in the surrounding areas,” said John R. Buran, President and CEO of Flushing Bank.

“As a community bank, we recognize the importance of giving back and demonstrating our commitment to the communities we serve. And, we are extremely excited to be a part of their economic recovery, growth, and development,” he said.

In top photo, joining Flushing Bank’s ribbon-cutting at the Shirley branch were, from left, Thomas Buonaiuto, Senior EVP, Chief of Staff and Deposit Channel Executive, Flushing Bank; Pat Mezeuk, Director of Government Banking, Flushing Bank; Dorothy Lamboy, Assistant Manager, Flushing Bank; Mike Bingold, Senior EVP and Chief Retail and Client Development Officer, Flushing Bank; John Schneidawin, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning; NYS Assemblywoman-Elect Jodi Giglio, District 2, and Town of Riverhead Councilwoman; Board of Education President Robert Vecchio, William Floyd School District; Suffolk County Clerk Judith Pascale; Krista Classie, Assistant Branch Manager, Flushing Bank; Bill Guiducci, Branch Manager, Flushing Bank; John R. Buran, President and CEO, Flushing Bank; Ana Ortiz, representing New York State Senator Monica Martinez, District 3; Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine; Town of Brookhaven Councilman Daniel Panico, District 6; Tim Rothang, representing Suffolk County Legislator Rudy Sunderman, District 3; Beth Wahl, President, Chamber of Commerce of the Mastics & Shirley; Rhonda Pierson-Delorenzo, VP / Long Island Area Manager, Flushing Bank; and Bill Gianakos, Director of Retail Banking, Flushing Bank.

In photo on right, joining Flushing Bank’s ribbon-cutting at the Islandia branch were (left to right): Tara Ramdeo, Customer Care Associate, Flushing Bank; Thomas Buonaiuto, Senior EVP, Chief of Staff and Deposit Channel Executive, Flushing Bank; Town of Islip Councilwoman Mary Kate Mullen; John Schneidawin, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning; Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, District 10; John R. Buran, President and CEO, Flushing Bank; Dorothy Overton, VP / Branch Manager, Flushing Bank; Mike Bingold, Senior EVP and Chief Retail and Client Development Officer, Flushing Bank; Ana Ortiz, representing New York State Senator Monica Martinez, District 3; Rhonda Pierson-Delorenzo, VP / Long Island Area Manager, Flushing Bank; Bill Gianakos, Director of Retail Banking, Flushing Bank; Town of Islip Councilman James O’Connor; Pat Mezeuk, Director of Government Banking, Flushing Bank; and Pat Tiffany, SVP, Marketing Director, Flushing Bank.

Fans of White Castle’s iconic Original Sliders have a cause for celebration as the long-awaited renovation of the hamburger restaurant in Centereach is complete. Brookhaven Town Councilmen Kevin LaValle and Neil Foley attended the grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the 2201 Middle Country Road eatery on Dec. 3.

“White Castle has been a staple in Centereach and has continued to give back to the community for nearly 40 years. Congratulations and best of luck on your reopening,” said Councilman LaValle before presenting the store manager with a Certificate of Congratulations.

The Ohio-based company has more than 370 restaurants in 13 states. Like most of the chain’s other restaurants, the Centereach location offers a drive thru and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, satisfying the crave of White Castle fans morning, noon and night. While the restaurant does not deliver, they work with delivery partners  Uber, Door Dash, Grub hub.

For more information, call 631-467-3147 or visit www.whitecastle.com.

Photos courtesy of Councilman LaValle’s office

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The Gurwin Healthcare System has begun site clearing work for the construction of its new Independent Living Community, Fountaingate Gardens. Several key stakeholders were on hand recently to commemorate the first step toward groundbreaking for the 129-luxury apartment independent living complex, creating only the fourth Life Plan Community on Long Island.

“We are thrilled to be taking this milestone step, as we move closer to groundbreaking within the next couple of months,” said Stuart B. Almer, Gurwin Healthcare System President and CEO. Joined by members of the Gurwin board, Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, and Fountaingate Gardens Founders Club members, Almer spoke about the progress toward construction, and the community’s impact on Long Island seniors.

“Fountaingate Gardens will provide an amenity-rich, resort-fashioned lifestyle with a wide array of services on one campus, enabling seniors to remain on Long Island, close to the things and people they love,” he said. “Offering an active lifestyle and both financial and healthcare security for the future, the community will be the final piece to Gurwin’s full continuum of care. We are grateful for the support of Supervisor Lupinacci and the Town of Huntington for this project which is vital to enabling our area’s seniors age in place.”

“I’m so excited to see my future home coming to fruition!” said Bonnie Soman, a Founders Club member, who stopped by to see the progress. Accompanied by future neighbor Michelle Leone and wearing Fountaingate Gardens hardhats, the two Founders watched as heavy equipment moved dirt and trees to prepare for the community’s groundbreaking.

Located on Gurwin’s 34-acre Commack campus, Fountaingate Gardens will have a charming, village-like ambience offering a dynamic lifestyle for active adults. Dining venues, a fitness center, an indoor salt water pool, social gathering areas, and numerous other amenities will be conveniently located just a few steps from each residence.

Fountaingate Gardens will offer active adults the freedom and lifestyle of a Life Plan Community while ensuring access to the acclaimed Gurwin continuum of care should health needs change in the future. The project is already almost 65% sold, with some of the most popular floor plans nearly or completely unavailable.

For more information, call 631-715-2693.

Board and team members of the North Shore Youth Council with Lillian Iorio, Suffolk Federal Miller Place Branch Manager (fifth from left) and Micah Schlendorf, AVP Retail Member Experience at Suffolk Federal (sixth from left). Photo from Suffolk Federal

In an effort to support the charitable work of local organizations that serve the areas of Suffolk Federal branch locations, the credit union has identified nonprofit organizations to provide financial support to. In Miller Place, Branch Manager Lillian Iorio recently presented a $1,000 contribution to the North Shore Youth Council.

“Supporting [the] North Shore Youth Council is more important now than ever,” said Iorio. “They have kept the doors open throughout this pandemic and continue to be a place where the community can go for support and guidance. At Suffolk Federal, it is an honor to support and assist them during these uncertain times.”

“On behalf of North Shore Youth Council Board of Directors, staff and most important the youth that we serve, we are so thankful to Suffolk Federal for this donation,” said Patrick Policastro, Executive Director of North Shore Youth Council. These funds will be used towards upgrades to our programs by purchasing recreational and educational supplies & equipment.”

Pictured in photo: Board and team members of the North Shore Youth Council with Lillian Iorio, Suffolk Federal Miller Place Branch Manager (fifth from left) and Micah Schlendorf, AVP Retail Member Experience at Suffolk Federal (sixth from left).  Photo from Suffolk Federal

Photo courtesy of Leg. Kara Hahn’s office

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the village’s newest gift shop, Treasures-America’s Artisan Gallery, or TAAG for short., on Nov. 5. Located at Lighthouse Landing, 14 East Broadway, Suite #3, Port Jefferson, the store only sells products made in the USA.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn presented owners Bob and Nancy Hendrick with a proclamation and wished them much success.

“I’m delighted to support a new small business in Port Jefferson. With TAAG Gallery, we have a chance to buy local and support the arts!” said Leg. Hahn.

“We are so proud to be a part of such an amazing town and community that is Port Jefferson! ⁣Cheers to many more years,” added the Hendricks.

Pictured from left, chamber director and manager of the Steamroom Vinny Seiter; TAAG owners Bob and Nancy Hendrick; chamber president and owner of East End Shirt Company Joy Pipe; Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn; and chamber member Russell Baker, owner of Ecolin Jewelers.

TAAG’s operating hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. For further information, please call 631-741-2344.

Friendly's in Miller Place

Friendly’s Restaurants LLC, has filed for bankruptcy again and has an agreement to be sold to Amici Partners Group for just under $2 million. The parent company of the family-friendly restaurant chain, known for its Jim Dandy ice cream sundaes and Fribble milkshakes, made the announcement on Nov. 2. Almost all the 130 active Friendly’s locations will remain open and thousands of jobs will be preserved by the sale which is set to be complete in December.

As part of the deal, Friendly’s lenders have agreed to waive nearly $88 million in secured debt, according to court documents.

Friendly’s had been struggling since before the pandemic, closing hundreds of restaurants over the last decade and filing for bankruptcy in 2011. The chain had rebounded over the past two years, but COVID-19 restrictions became too much to overcome, the company said.

“Over the last two years, Friendly’s has made important strides toward reinvigorating our beloved brand in the face of shifting demographics, increased competition and rising costs,” George Michel, CEO of Friendly’s owner FIC Restaurants, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, like many restaurant businesses, our progress was suddenly interrupted by the catastrophic impact of COVID-19, which caused a decline in revenue as dine-in operations ceased for months and reopened with limited capacity.”

Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new 7-Eleven at 1545 Middle Country Road in Centereach on Oct. 30. The new location showcases the latest national interior decor, design and equipment including Bean to Brew coffee and espresso machines, flavored frozen lemonade, baked-in-store danish and cookies and more.

Hosted by the Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce, the event was also attended by Robert Martinez, Chief of Staff, 4th Legislative District, New York State Assemblyman Doug Smith, Thomas Lupo on behalf of Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy and members of the chamber and community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the store’s grand opening community festivities have been postponed to a later date.

“It was my honor to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony [last Friday]. This property had been a deteriorating eyesore until 7-Eleven came in to redevelop it. I am happy to see so many new businesses opening up across the Middle Country corridor. Congratulations to the 7-Eleven team and best of luck with your new location!” said Councilman LaValle.


Pictured from left, RPSB Chamber of Commerce member Charles Todaro, restaurant owner Barbara Stephenson, RPSB Chamber of Commerce President Gary Pollakusky, RPSB Chamber of Commerce member Larry Hall, restaurant owner Robert Mastanduno (with scissors), Councilwoman Bonner, Leg. Anker, and RPSB Chamber Events Director Jeanine Pollakusky. Photo from RPSB Chamber of Commerce

Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner and Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker joined members of the Rocky Point Sound Beach (RPSB) Chamber of Commerce, Angela Noncarrow from Rep. Anthony Palumbo’s office and the local community in celebrating the ribbon cutting and one year anniversary of Robert Anthony’s “Domenica alle Due” Italian Bistro Pizzeria & Cocktail Bar in Sound Beach on Oct. 29.

From left, Councilwoman Jane Bonner, chamber president Gary Pollakusky, chamber members Nichaldeep Parhar and Larry Hall, owners Robert Mastanduno and Barbara Stephenson, chamber members Charles Todaro and Cyndi Zaweski, Leg. Sarah Anker and
Angela Noncarrow from Rep. Anthony Palumbo’s office
Jeanine Pollakusky

Located at 257 Echo Avenue, the newly renovated restaurant owned by Barbara Stephenson and Robert Mastanduno (formerly CaraMia Restaurant and Pizzeria) features a large selection of popular Italian dishes, as well a variety of pizza, salads and more.

“I welcome ‘Domenica alle Due’ to Sound Beach. Brookhaven Town is open for business and it’s important that we support the people who invest in the community and create jobs for our residents, especially during this pandemic,” said Councilwoman Bonner. “I wish Robert, Barbara and the entire staff the best of luck and encourage everyone to stop. The food is ‘spettacalore!’”

“Thank you to owners Robert and Barbara for the delicious pizza and for welcoming us into your beautiful restaurant! Be sure to go visit them soon for some tasty food,” added Leg. Anker.

Restaurant operating hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. For more information, please call 631-849-4809.

Image from Dairy Queen

American Dairy Queen Corporation recently announced plans to bring a DQ Grill & Chill restaurant to Nesconset. Set to open in November, the restaurant will be located at 594 Middle Country Road.

The location will be owned and operated by local entrepreneur, Kanwal Azam, an industry veteran of 10 years in the food-service space and a multi-brand operator with 7/11 and Sunoco Gas Stations.

“I’ve always heard people praising Dairy Queen for their exceptional food quality and customer service. I knew I wanted to open my own restaurant once I learned about the support provided from the team along with the importance, they place on community involvement,” said Kanwal. “I was looking for an opportunity to diversify my ownership and the DQ Grill & Chill model was the perfect fit. I’m looking forward to continuing the amazing tradition of Dairy Queen and bringing the staple to the Nesconset community.”

In addition to Blizzards, the restaurant will serve made-to-order lunch and dinner options including GrillBurgers, Chicken Strip Baskets, hot sandwiches, salads, fries, onion rings and cheese curds.

While the Nesconset DQ’s management staff is in operation, Kanwal stated that she expects to create 120 part time and full-time job opportunities for the community and is currently accepting applications online at  www.indeed.com.

Above, a representative from One Love Dog Rescue and OSJL store associates with some rescued puppies.

As part of Ocean State Job Lot’s “Close to Our Heart” program, the OSJL store located at 2150 Middle Country Road in Centereach made a donation of $400 to One Love Dog Rescue of Smithtown on Oct. 5 to support and contribute to its important mission. The 100% volunteer and foster-based rescue group is dedicated to the rescue, healing and re-homing of abused, unwanted and abandoned dogs.

“A cornerstone of our company is our philanthropy,” said David Sarlitto, Executive Director, Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation. “Whenever we open our doors in a new community, we make a donation to a non-profit that is ‘close to the heart’ of our local team, but with so many communities struggling right now, we’ve expanded this program to allow our associates to make additional donations to organizations that are meaningful to them.”