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Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce

Photos by Greg Catalano

Pictured from left, PJCC Director Leah Dunaief; Port Jefferson Village Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay; Port Jefferson Village Mayor Lauren Sheprow; PJCC Director Brett Davenport; PJCC President Stuart Vincent; Bartender Erik Killian Bartender; Castaways co-owners Michael Krohn (holding scissors), John Sarno and Mario Tucci; Assistant General Manager Kathi Heggers; General Manager McKayla De la Pena; chamber partner Michelle Cruz; and PJCC Secretary Nancy Bradley. Photo courtesy of PJCC

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for its newest member and Port Jefferson restaurant Castaways Steak and Seafood on Feb. 26. Mayor Lauren Sheprow, Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay, members of the chamber and staff joined co-owners Michael Krohn, John Sarno and Mario Tucci in the celebration. 

The restaurant is the latest addition to the Silver Lining Restaurant Group which includes Village Idiot Pubs in Patchogue, Oakdale and Lake Grove and Drift 82 in Patchogue owned by Sarno and Chops Steakhouse in Patchogue which is co-owned by Sarno and Krohn.

The former location of The Village Way, the completely renovated 2,900 square foot restaurant at 106 Main Street in Port Jefferson Village sports a most fitting nautical decor with mermaids, diving helmets, life preserver rings and an octopus chandelier.

“The Chamber is very pleased with this newest addition to our restaurant inventory, Castaways! Partners, John, Mario, and Mike have taken great lengths to pay attention to the décor and the menu. Creating a vibrant and welcoming establishment only adds to our downtown business community. Wishing them and their staff much success,” said Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber.

Currently serving only dinner, wine and cocktails with live music on Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant will later expand to include lunch and brunch menus. Their extensive dinner menu include a variety of seafood, steak, pork and chicken entrees along with appetizers, salads and a raw bar. They also host special events including birthday parties and office functions.

Operating hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays; closed Tuesdays. To make a reservation, call 888-624-6106. For more information, please visit castawayspj.com.

By Julianne Mosher

The second annual Vogue in the Village Fashion Show is heading to Theatre Three in Port Jefferson this month so locals can strut their stuff in the latest styles from the village’s boutiques all for a good cause.

Scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m., (on Leap Day), this year’s theme is appropriately titled “Leap Into Fashion.”

Hosted by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Theatre Three, the event follows a successful show last year. Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber, said that last year’s ticket sales went back to supporting the chamber and their events. And while this is partly true this year, Ransome added that donations from the 2024 show will also go to the Town of Brookhaven’s Dress for Success program.

According to the Town of Brookhaven website, “Dress for Success Brookhaven is part of an international nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the developmental tools to help them thrive in work and life.”

Since 1999, Dress for Success has helped over 6,000 women work towards self-sufficiency in the Town of Brookhaven.

Ransome said this a great way to get the word out about local stores like Fame & Rebel, Kate & Hale, The Smokin’ Gentleman, Ivory & Main, Sue La La Couture, Timber & Ties and Dr. G Sustainability Lifestyle. 

In addition, before the show and during intermission, a vendor’s marketplace with tables set up for different organizations, businesses and services will be held throughout the theater’s lower level. 

Douglas Quattrock, third vice president of the chamber and artistic associate and director of development at Theatre Three, said this year they have about 50 models coming out to get done up and sashay across the stage. “It has built up a lot since last year,” he said. “What I love is the community coming together.”

Along with local shops donating their services, local beauty salons like Fedora Lounge Boutique Hair Salon, The Hair Bar and Karasmatic Day Spa are planning to help out with hair and makeup before the show. 

The models are getting the full glam experience — men, women and even dogs.

Ransome noted that, like last year, dogs for adoption with Yorkie 911 Rescue will prance on stage wearing accessories from Fetch Doggy Boutique and Bakery on East Main Street. The 2023/2024 Ms. New York Senior America, Mae Caime, is also going to be a highlighted model.

“It’s one-stop-shopping the see the best of the village in one night,” Quattrock said. 

The 2nd Annual Vogue in the Village Fashion Show will be held at Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson on Thursday, Feb. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The vendor marketplace opens at 5 p.m. 

The first 100 ticket holders to arrive will receive a fabulous gift: a swag bag, filled with goods from the local merchants. Tickets are $20 cash and check, $25 for credit card and online. Donations for Dress for Success will be accepted at the event or online when purchasing tickets.

For more information, call 631-473-1414 or visit portjeffchamber.com/events-calendar/vogue-in-the-village-2024/

Rich Daly doing a live carving on day one at the Port Jefferson Ice Festival. Photo by Julianne Mosher

By Julianne Mosher

The 5th annual Port Jefferson Ice Festival didn’t disappoint, yet again, with hundreds of people coming near and far to enjoy this winter wonderland. 

Spearheaded by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District and partnering with the, the festival gives visitors and residents a bunch of fun activities great for all ages. 

The common denominator each year is the fantastic ice sculptures created by Rich Daly — owner and ice sculptor with Ice Memories, based in Mastic Beach. Daly said he spends three weeks preparing for the two-day-long festival, creating 30 ice statues to distribute around Port Jefferson. From dogs outside Skinmed Spa to a cheeseburger outside Tommy’s, there is quite the variety. For this festival alone, Daly said he carved 225 blocks of ice (that’s 70,000 pounds) slated for the weekend.

The festival began Saturday, Jan. 27, and was supposed to go into the Sunday. However, a rainy forecast postponed the second day until this coming Sunday, Feb. 4. While disappointing for some, people who missed the first day can now have another chance to enjoy the festivities. Some of those festivities include admiring Daly’s sculptures around town, character appearances — Spider-Man and Barbie were spotted — and horse and buggy rides. 

But the biggest crowd draw is the three live ice sculpture experiences by Daly occurring throughout the day. 

Daly became the world’s fastest ice carver, according to Guinness World Records, back in 2013. 

“I carved 18,000 pounds of ice into 61 different carvings in two hours and 52 minutes surpassing the old record by over an hour and a half,” he said. “So now we’re 11 years in, and it’s still my record, thankfully.”

Last Saturday, Daly stood with a 300-pound block of ice in the Meadow Parking Lot behind PJ Lobster House with nearly 100 people and children cheering him on. He took his ice pick, carved out a rough design of a dove and then started up his chainsaw to carve out the bird. In under 30 minutes, the bird was ready and admirers could be photographed with the new creation.

This year’s Port Jefferson Ice Festival will have its grand finale on Sunday, Feb. 4, featuring all-new ice designs throughout the village along with Daly’s live carvings. Parking is free.

From left, Mary Joy Pipe, PJCC Director; Caitlin Thomson, Kiddsmiles Office Manager; Lance (husband to Dr. Alstodt); Dr. Michele Alstodt, owner of Kiddsmiles Port Jeff Station; Stu Vincent, PJCC President; and Amanda Saviano Kiddsmiles Regional Manager. Photo from PJCC

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce welcomed new partner Kiddsmiles Pediatric Dentistry with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 16. 

Located at 1174 Route 112, Suite B, in Port Jefferson Station, the office is the 3rd location in Suffolk County along with Holbrook and North Babylon and is equipped with the latest state of the art technology including laser dentistry (no needle fillings), digital x-rays and computer imaging in a kid-friendely environment.

Pictured in photo from left, Mary Joy Pipe, PJCC Director; Caitlin Thomson, Kiddsmiles Office Manager; Lance (husband to Dr. Alstodt); Dr. Michele Alstodt, owner of Kiddsmiles Port Jeff Station; Stu Vincent, PJCC President; and Amanda Saviano, Kiddsmiles Regional Manager.

“Thank you to the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the incredible community for their warm welcome and support.Our team is beyond excited to bring our specialized pediatric dental care to Port Jefferson Station. Come visit us at our new location and experience the Kiddsmiles difference firsthand! We can’t wait to meet you and your little ones,” read a post from Kiddsmiles’ Facebook after the ribbon cutting.

Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., closed Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. For more information, call   631-254-5437 or visit www.kiddsmiles.com/port-jefferson-station.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for Harmony & Light Wellness in Port Jefferson on Sept. 30. The event celebrated Harmony’s one-year anniversary and becoming a new chamber partner.

Located at  646 Main Street, Lower Level, the business specializes in helping you relax, recharge, reset and rebalance with holistic and sound therapy including the Harmonic Egg.®

Pictured in photo, from left, Nicole Martinsen, Melissa Fesmire, Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, owner Megan Fesmire (holding scissor), husband Beau and daughter Cassidy. 

Operating hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 631-828-5055.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce (PJCC) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the new offices for Edward Jones Financial Advisor Michael Sceiford on Sept. 26. The event was attended by members of the chamber, Port Jefferson Village Board, Port Jefferson Rotary Club, staff, family and friends.

Located at 640 Belle Terre Road, Building B, in Port Jefferson, the investment firm helps its customers prepare for retirement, save for education and be a tax-smart investor.

“We congratulate Michael on his new location and beautiful office suites and we wish him much success,” said PJCC’s Director of Operations Barbara Ransome. 

Pictured in photo, from left, chamber member Suzanne Velazquez; chamber president Stuart Vincent; Edward Jones Associate Financial Advisor Tracy Prush; Edward Jones Branch Office Administrator Pam Guido; Stephanie Sceiford with children Claire and Harvey; Michael Sceiford (with scissors); chamber members Nancy Bradley and Brett Davenport; Port Jefferson Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay; Bob Huttemeyer from the Port Jefferson Rotary; and chamber members Risa Kluger, Michelle Cruz, Saranto Calamas, Andrew Thomas (seated), Eric D. Cherches Esq. and Mary Joy Pipe.

Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 631-928-2034.

By Aidan Johnson

Despite not having any dragon boat racing, the 9th annual Port Jefferson Dragon Boat Race Festival was filled with excitement and fun from start to finish Saturday, Sept. 16.

It was deemed early in the day unsafe to hold the boat racing due to rough water conditions in the wake of Hurricane Lee. The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the organization that hosts this annual tradition, opted for a tug-of-war competition between the dragon boat teams.

“We wanted to kind of create a competitive activity that the teams would embrace,” Barbara Ransome, the chamber’s director of operations, explained. After one of her team partners suggested the tug-of-war, Peter Murphy of Sea Tow Port Jefferson provided the festival with a 40-foot cord to use.

“As you can see, it was great fun and lots of competition,” Ransome added.

Denise Yazak, who was part of Brookhaven National Lab’s Crave the Wave team, took part in the competition. While she was disappointed that she could not serve her role as drummer — who helps keep the paddlers in rhythm and synchronicity, matching the drumbeat with the strokes of the front paddlers — she said she still had a great experience.

“It’s such a cool community-building event, and it’s great to connect with new people, see old friends,” Yazak said. “So even with the weather, it was still an amazing time.”

Vendors set up throughout the day in Port Jeff’s Harborfront Park. The festival also included performances such as karate demonstrations and a showcase from Taiko Tides, a traditional Japanese drumming group from Stony Brook University.

“It’s always exciting to come,” said Louis Truong, a member of Taiko Tides. “They’re always welcoming to us.”

Port Jefferson Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay said she was inspired by the number of individuals who turned out and the many different walks of life gathered for the same purpose.

“This festival, in particular, is a beautiful opportunity to build community bridges and celebrate the vibrancy of diversity,” Kassay said in a statement.

“The resilience and adaptability of festival-goers was inspiring as well, as they seamlessly shifted their competitive spirits from dragon boat races to tug-of-war competitions,” she added.

Former Village Clerk Bob Juliano, left, and trustee Stan Loucks. Photo by Aidan Johnson
By Aidan Johnson

With two trustee seats up for grabs on June 20, the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a Meet the Candidates event at the Village Center Tuesday evening, June 14.

The candidates had their first Meet the Candidates forum last month during an event hosted by the Port Jefferson Civic Association. The two declared trustee candidates, incumbent trustee Stan Loucks and former village clerk Bob Juliano, tackled a range of subjects throughout the night. The following offers insight into a few key areas.


Juliano said any bond issue or proposal for changing terms of office should go out to public referendum. He maintained the public should have input on matters immediately impacting them, such as taxes. 

Besides publishing legal notices, Juliano said that he would “really just plaster the village and let them know” that a public hearing was taking place.

Loucks said that any large project should have a public referendum, agreeing that the changing of terms from two to four years should have had a public referendum.

Public acquisitions

Loucks addressed the need for more green spaces in Port Jeff. He said the village should “go after” them when they become available, including the undeveloped parcel located immediately east of Mather Hospital.

Loucks also touched upon the underutilization of Roosevelt Park, which he suggested was a decent size green area currently serving little or no use. “Residents in those areas are more hesitant about the parking,” he said, “but that is one green area that we are going to begin to use.”  

Juliano said he would support the village obtaining the undeveloped parcel near Mather. While the former clerk said it was Mather Hospital’s right to take down the trees last year, he suggested that Port Jefferson should acquire some of that property and keep it green to help the environment.

Juliano also addressed the perceived lack of open space left in the village, saying that if space became available, he would advocate that the village take a look at it to see if it’s feasible to acquire, “even if it’s just purchased and just kept in its natural state.”

Decommissioning the Port Jeff Power Station

Juliano said that if the Port Jefferson Power Station were to shutter, the village would still receive some taxes on the property. Furthermore, Juliano said he would advocate seeing if there was another use for the land before additional public revenues declined.

Loucks concurred, saying that he didn’t know what it would cost to decommission the plant but adding that it’s “beautiful waterfront property.”

Development/single-family dwellings

Loucks said he does not believe Port Jefferson has overdeveloped. Instead, he said there is a need for housing, citing Conifer’s Crossing Apartments project that had 1,400 applicants for around 40 units.

Juliano also agrees that there is a need for housing in the village but advocated for condominiums instead of apartments. He also said the Building Department was in disarray, and a senior planner and senior engineer were necessary, along with a strengthening of the Code Department.

Industrial Development Agency

Juliano said that the village has no say as far as what happens with the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency but that he has a plan to make sure if the IDA grants property tax relief, then they will start at whatever taxes they are paying now and not go down to zero. What it should be, he said, is if they’re paying a certain amount of dollars, they’ll continue to pay that, and then any exemptions rise from that down.

Loucks highlighted the little control the village has over the IDA. He said that they can go to their meetings and make recommendations, but ultimately the IDA makes its own decisions.

Port Jeff Village residents will weigh in on these two candidates Tuesday, June 20. Voting will occur at the Village Center from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Dawn McCarthy and Lorraine Vigliarolo, owners of Celtic Apothecary, on April 26.  

The event was attended by members of the chamber, Mayor Margot Garant, Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden, friends and family.

Located at 128 Main Street in the former Thomas Kinkade Gallery spot, Celtic Apothecary offers hand poured soy organic candles, body products for women and men, home goods, natural cleaners and farmers markets favorites. 

Pictured from left, James McCarthy, Jim McCarthy, Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, owner Dawn McCarthy, Chamber Director Mary Joy Pipe, owner Lorraine Vigliarolo, Rick Sobelman, and Port Jefferson Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 631-403-4202 or visit www.celticapothecary.com.