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grand reopening

The Three Village Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting and grand reopening celebration for Mario’s Restaurant in East Setauket on Aug. 18. The community welcomed back brothers Jack and Gary Tiply, along with partner Billie Phillips, for a classic reboot of one of the oldest and most notable Italian restaurants on the North Shore.  

The special event was attended by Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, members of the chamber, family and friends.

The Tipleys owned Mario’s for 28 years before selling the restaurant in 2007. They reclaimed ownership in 2019 after a fire damaged the restaurant’s kitchen. Renovations have been completed and the restaurant has put pizza back on the menu.

“Mario’s Restaurant is a community treasure as are the owners. Everyone in the community can tell a story about being there for a reunion of friends or classmates, a special life event or family gathering. So many people in the area also met their spouse here. Congratulations to Gary, Jack and Billie on the new Mario’s,” said Leg. Hahn.

Pictured in first photo from left, Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, Three Village Chamber President Jane Taylor;  chamber members Carmine Inserra, Colette Frey-Bitzas, Rob Taylor; Legislator Kara Hahn; owners Gary and Jack Tipley; and chamber members Charles Lefkowitz, and Michael Ardolino.  

Located at 212 Main St., East Setauket, the restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Tuesday to Sunday for indoor dining and takeout. For more information, call 631-751-8840 or visit www.mariossetauket.com.

Photo from Urban Air

Urban Air Lake Grove owners Dave Wolmetz and Keith Handler (holding scissors) held a ribbon cutting to mark the official reopening of their business — one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — on March 26. The celebration was attended by local, county and state officials and local chamber members.

The 48,000 sq. ft indoor adventure park, located at 3147 Middle Country Road in Lake Grove, was closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened briefly in fall 2020 after providing sufficient demonstration that it could operate safely but was ordered closed again five weeks later. A lawsuit filed in February 2021 forced the State of New York to allow Family Entertainment Centers across the state, including Urban Air, to open again under COVID-19 safety protocols.

“I was happy to attend the grand reopening of Urban Air Adventure Park at 3147 Middle Country Road in Lake Grove. For too long indoor entertainment facilities, like Urban Air, were ignored in the Governor’s reopening plan despite proving they could operate safely. I was proud to stand with my colleagues in government today and congratulate Urban Air on their reopening and wish them the best of luck with their business,” said Councilman LaValle.

“[It was] great to join Urban Air Adventure Park in Lake Grove for a grand re-opening! Amusements are opening back up in time for summer!” added Assemblyman Smith. 

Pictured from left, Brendan Chamberlain representing Leg. Nick Caracappa; Greater Middle Country Chamber President Lenore Paprocky; Leg. Leslie Kennedy;  Councilman Kevin LaValle; Assemblyman Doug Smith; Carrie and Dave Wolmetz; Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy; Keith Handler; NYS Senator Mario Mattera; Lake Grove Mayor Robert Scottaline; and Barbara Franco, Executive Director of the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce. 

The park will operate at 25 percent capacity, with an e-commerce ticketing system managing two-hour timed entry for all guests. Tickets are purchased online in advance. To encourage social distancing, tickets will be offered for purchase at the door on a capacity only basis. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call 631-861-4125.

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