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Northport midfielder Ricky Corbett with a header at home against Newfield Sept 14. Bill Landon photo

The Newfield Wolverines looked for that first win of this early season in a League II road game against the Northport Tigers when senior co-captain Oscar Moreno broke the ice to put the Wolverines out front 1-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. 

Northport senior midfielder Justin Besosa made it a new game midway through the second half to even the score. Both teams unable to break the tie finished the game in a draw. 

Newfield senior goal keep Carter Rothwell had twelve saves in net where Northport’s goalie Tommy Pace stopped five.

Newfield at 0-1-1 will retake the field in a home game against Bay Shore Sept 17. Northport also at 0-1-1, 2-1-1 overall, will face Walt Whitman in a road game Sept 18. Game times are 5:15 p.m. and 8 a.m., respectively.

After a COVID-shortened fall season four months ago, Northport hosted the Rocky Point Eagles in what should be a full slate of games for the upcoming campaign. It was a non-league season opener which pitted the Tigers, a Divison I powerhouse, who finished the regular season last (year) at 12-1, against the Division II Eagles who finished the previous regular season at 10-2.

The Eagles struggled to stay upfield where Northport slowly closed the door for a 4-0 shutout. Northport junior Sydney Wotzak scored twice along with Hailey Roethel and Olivia McKenna with a goal apiece.

Rocky Point goalie’s Molly Luchsinger had seven saves on the day, and Maddie Zarzycki stopped six. The Eagles are back in action Sept. 1 where they host Pierson Bridgehampton at 4:30 p.m. with Northport facing Walt Whitman the following day at home with a 4 p.m. start.

Northport boys, girls win Suffolk County Titles at home on same day

By Steven Zaitz

The Northport Tigers boys lacrosse team joined their female counterparts by winning the Suffolk County championship on Wednesday, June 16. They beat Ward Melville by a score of 8-6

Casey Fortunato, Mike Meyer and Dylan McNaughton all scored two goals apiece as the Tigers overcame an early three goal deficit.  They will play Syosset on Saturday, July 19, in Bethpage for the Long Island High School Championship.

Earlier that same afternoon, the Northport Lady Tigers beat Smithtown East in a 9-8 thriller. Emma Demarco scored the winning goal with less than three minutes to go in the game. They will face the Nassau County champion Massapequa on Saturday as well.

Ray Manzoni Photo from ALS Ride for Life

The ALS Ride for Life board of directors unanimously appointed Ray Manzoni as president of the organization.

Manzoni, of Miller Place and proprietor of Manzoni Real Estate located in Mount Sinai, replaces Chris Pendergast, a beloved community member and founder of the nonprofit, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in October after a 28-year-long battle.

But Manzoni said Pendergast’s legacy will live on, and he’ll be there to help see the organization through.

When ALS Ride for Life was incorporated back in 1997, Manzoni stood alongside Pendergast — a man he became good friends with. 

“We had been friends for years before he was diagnosed. Then he sucked me in and here I am 28 years later,” he laughed. “I knew him well. I knew his mind. He taught me well.”

While Pendergast was still alive and spreading awareness on ALS (often referred to as Lou Gehrig disease), the new president served on the board of directors, eventually — and currently — as board chairman. 

“Chris was a nationally known leader in the world of ALS,” Manzoni said. “I was proud to be his friend. I look forward to continuing his mission and that of our organization toward providing patient services, awareness and supporting research so that a cure can one day be found.”

ALS Ride for Life started when Pendergast embarked on a ride with his electric scooter from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to Washington, D.C., 22 years ago to raise awareness about the disease and raise funds for research. After a few years, the ride was contained to New York state — from Riverhead to the Bronx — where participants stop by schools along the way that take part in the organization’s presentations throughout the school year. 

Pendergast, a Miller Place resident and former Northport elementary teacher, had lived with the disease for 28 years. When doctors diagnosed him, they thought he only had a few years to live. He lived to be 71.

Pendergast became an icon and symbol for the North Shore for never giving up. 

Even as he lost the ability to speak and had to communicate with an eye-to-speech device, his determination never seemed to relent. Just this year, Pendergast, alongside his wife Christine, released the book “Blink Spoken Here: Tales from a Journey to Within” about his life since his diagnosis in 1993.

The ALS Ride for Life organization has raised over $10 million for advocacy and research. Their yearly Ride for Life trips were later accompanied by visits to close to 90 school districts on Long Island.

“His story still resonates,” Manzoni said. “ALS is not gone.”

The new president is looking forward to keeping Pendergast’s legacy alive. 

“We fortunately have this great team,” he said. “We held it all together and are refining in these COVID times.”

Known to visit schools and give presentations on the disease, the group had to change shape to get their word out, while adhering to coronavirus guidelines. But he is asking people to continue supporting their local nonprofits. 

“The kids want this, administrators want this,” he said.

Theatre Three in Port Jefferson hasn’t been open since March, but news of a vaccine is keeping them hopeful and more relieved than before. Photo by Julianne Mosher

By Leah Chiappino 

Despite being among the first to shut down, and likely the last to open, local theaters have managed to sustain themselves throughout the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to community support.

Theatre Three, Port Jefferson

Theatre Three in Port Jefferson hasn’t been open since March, but news of a vaccine is keeping them hopeful and more relieved than before. Photo by Julianne Mosher

On March 15 last year, Theatre Three in Port Jefferson had to close production of its musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Hansel and Gretel” in the children’s theater.

At the time, the Port Jeff performing arts center was two weeks away from its touring season, a week away from technical rehearsals for the musical “Steel Magnolias,” and in the middle of the dramatic academy for winter/spring, all of which were shut down indefinitely, and have not yet reopened. 

Since its closing, the theater has taken in little revenue, yet still manages to give back to the community through their virtual Off-Stage/On-Line series, which features short plays submitted by playwrights, performed over Zoom and posted to the theater’s website and social media every Sunday night.

Submissions receive a $25 stipend, and actors donate their time performing. Theatre Three also launched the “StoryTime at the Playhouse” series, which streams performances for children live into classrooms, directed by the theater’s artistic director, Jeffrey Sanzel. 

Theatre Three also maintained its 35-year-old tradition of performing “A Christmas Carol” starring Sanzel as Scrooge, though this year it was filmed in advance and posted online.

The theater has relied on private grants, savings and donations, as well as a PPP loan, to remain afloat. 

Vivian Koutrakos, managing director, said that the fact the theater was having a strong year before the pandemic helped its financial situation. 

In celebrating its 50th anniversary, Theatre Three showcased productions such as “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Driving Miss Daisy,” both popular and lucrative shows.

In addition, they prepaid the royalties for upcoming shows such as “Grease” and because the building is not being used, other expenses have dropped.

“We’re not using our electric — we got that down to a really decent amount and we have a very small mortgage on the building,” Koutrakos said. “There’s not much else other than water and obviously, our insurances, but most of our insurances will come back to us because there is no workers’ comp. There is no liability. There’s nobody in the building, really. So, we’re OK.”  

Koutrakos added the community has been generous in donations. 

“We have an amazing executive board of directors,” she said. “They will never let this theater close, under any circumstance.”

The theater is waiting for the go-ahead from New York State so it can reopen. 

“I don’t know how much longer we would have lasted without a vaccine. It really is a beacon of light and hope,” Koutrakos said. “It’ll probably be almost a year-and-a-half [from being closed] once we open.’’ 

Upon reopening, the theater will honor previously held tickets, recast actors if they are available and plans to continue to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

John W. Engeman Theater, Northport 

File photo

According to one of the co-owners of the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, Richard Dolce, it is in a similar boat to Theatre Three.

On the day that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued an executive order mandating theater  shutdowns, the cast of their upcoming show, “Sister Act,” was set to arrive to rehearse.

The Engeman was able to benefit from a PPP loan in April and has relied on reserve funds, allowing it to keep its full-time staff of 16, who Dolce said are mainly answering customer calls and doing mechanical maintenance. 

The theater offers classes in professional theater, acting and musical theater. It resumed some individual lessons in person in the fall, but as COVID cases began to rise in the area, it has since shifted to a virtual format. 

Even with the virtual course offerings, Dolce said the theater is making “well under 10%” of its normal revenue. He added that while he did not think the theater can sustain its current operations without additional relief for “much longer,” he expects that it will qualify for funding from the Save Our Stages Act, a provision in the recent COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress that provides $15 billion in funding for entertainment venues. 

“We’ve been talking to Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY3) and other representatives to get something done for the live independent venues and they were able to come through,” Dolce said. “Hopefully that will enable us to weather this for a little bit longer, because we were the first ones to close and we will be the last ones to open.”

While the governor’s office did not respond to email requests for comment, Cuomo indicated during his State of the State address Jan. 12 that “we cannot wait until summer to turn the lights back on the arts and provide a living wage for artists.” He also announced New York Arts Revival, a public-private partnership series of pop-up performances across the state, hosted at state parks, other state properties and “flexible venues,” set to begin Feb. 4.

A sharing table at Heritage Park. Photo by Julianne Mosher

By Julianne Mosher and Rita J. Egan

Give a little, take a little — sharing is caring. 

A new phenomenon that has made its way across Long Island — and now the country — is a discreet way to help those in need. 

The Sharing Tables concept, of New York and California, was started up in November by a Seaford mom and her young daughter. 

“I woke up on Sunday, Nov. 22, and me and my 6-year-old daughter didn’t have anything to do that day,” Mary Kate Tischler, founder of the group, said. “We went through our cabinets, got some stuff from the grocery store and started publicizing the table on Facebook.”

The Sharing Table is a simple concept, according to her: “Take what you need and leave what you can, if you can.”

Tischler, who grew up in Stony Brook, said the idea is that whoever sets up a table in front of their home or business will put items out that people might need, with the community coming together to replenish it.

“The very first day people were taking things and dropping things off,” she said. “It was working just as it was supposed to.”

When the table is set up, organizers put out anything and everything a person might need. Some put out nonperishable foods, some put toiletries. Others put toys and books, with some tables having unworn clothing and shoes. No one mans the table. It’s just out front, where someone can discreetly visit and grab what they need.

“Since there’s no one that stands behind the table, people can come up anonymously and take the item without identifying themselves or asking any questions,” Tischler said. ”Some of our neighbors are in a tough time where they can’t pay their bills. I think the Sharing Tables are really helping fill those needs.”

And they’re popping up everywhere. In just three months, the group has nearly 30 Sharing Tables in New York, with one just launched in Santa Monica, California.

Mount Sinai

From clothing to toys, to food and books, Sharing Tables, like the one pictured here in Mount Sinai, are a way to help in a discreet and anonymous way. Photo by Julianne Mosher

On Sunday, Jan. 18, a Sharing Table was put outside the Heritage Trust building at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai.

Victoria Hazan, president of the trust, said she saw the Sharing Tables on social media and knew that the local community needed one, too.

“It was nothing but good, positive vibes,” she said.

When she set up the table with dozens of different items that were donated, people already started pulling up to either grab something they needed or donate to the cause.

“Some people are shy,” Hazan said. “What’s great is that you set up the table and walk away. There’s no judgement and no questions asked.”

What’s available at the tables will vary by community and what donations come in.

“The response from the community blew my mind totally,” Hazan said. “This was the right time to do this.”

St. James

Joanne Evangelist, of St. James, was the first person in Suffolk County to set up a Sharing Table, and soon after, other residents in the county followed.

The wife and mother of two said it was the end of the Christmas season when she was cleaning out drawers and her pantry. On the Facebook page Smithtown Freecycle, she posted that she had stuff to give away if anyone wanted it, but she would find sometimes people wouldn’t show up after she put something aside for them.

“So, I put it on a table outside — not even knowing about the group or thinking anything of it,” she said, adding she would post what was outside on the freecycle page.

Joanne Evangelist stands by her table in St. James filled with food, cleaning supplies and more. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Tischler saw the Smithtown Freecycle post and reached out to Evangelist to see if she would be interested in setting up a Sharing Table. The St. James woman thought it was a good idea when she heard it. While Evangelist regularly has food, toiletries, cleaning products and baby products on the table, from time to time there will be clothing, toys and other random items. Recently, she held a coat drive and the outwear was donated to Lighthouse Mission in Bellport, which helps those with food insecurities and the homeless.

She said she keeps the table outside on her front lawn all day long, even at night, unless it’s going to rain, or the temperatures dip too low. People can pick up items at any time, and she said no one is questioned.

Evangelist said she also keeps a box out for donations so she can organize them on the table later on in the day, and the response from local residents wanting to drop off items has been touching.

She said helping out others is something she always liked to do. 

“I was a candy striper in the hospital when I was younger,” she said. “I just always loved volunteering, and I’m a stay-at-home mom, so, honestly anything I could do … especially with the pandemic.”

Evangelist said she understands what people go through during tough financial times.

“I’ve used a pantry before, so I know the feeling,” she said. “I know the embarrassment of it.”


Lisa Conway, of Northport, and two of her five children, Aidan, 16, and Kate, 14, set up a Sharing Table after their garage was burglarized on New Year’s Eve.

Conway said her children, who attend St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, were looking for a community outreach project. She had seen a post about the Sharing Tables on Facebook and was considering starting one, but she was debating how involved it would be.

Then the Conway’s garage was burglarized where thousands of dollars of tools were stolen, an electric skateboard, dirt bike and more including a generator that was taken from the basement. The wife and mother said the family felt fortunate that the robbers didn’t enter the main part of the house.

Conway said after the experience she realized that some people need to steal to get what they need and decided the Sharing Table would be a good idea.

“They can come take what they need without having to steal from anyone,” she said.

Her children have been helping to organize the items they receive, and every day Aidan will set everything up before school and clean up at night. He said it’s no big deal as it takes just a few minutes each day.

Aidan said there have been more givers than takers.

“People are a lot more generous than what I expected them to be,” he said.

The mother and son said they have been touched by the generosity of their fellow residents. Conway said she’s been using the Nextdoor app mostly to generate contributions. She said she started posting on the app to let people know what they needed for the table. One day after a posting indicating they needed cleaning supplies for the table, they woke up to find the items outside.

The family has also received a $200 Amazon gift card to buy items, and another person bought them a canopy to protect the table. 

Conway said every once in a while, she will be outside when people are picking up items. One woman told her how she drove from Nassau County. Her husband was suffering from three different types of cancer, and he couldn’t work due to his compromised immune system. She told her how they had to pay the bills first, and then if there was money left over they could buy food.

Another day Conway went outside to see that someone had left gum and mints on the table.

“I just was so touched by that,” the mother said. “They wanted to leave something they didn’t just want to take, and that’s all they had.”

Conway said it’s a learning experience for her children to know that there are people on public assistance who can’t use the funds for items such as paper goods or cleaning items, and there are others who are struggling but not eligible for any kind of assistance.

“My youngest one is 9, and even he can’t believe when he sees people pulling up,” she said. “He’s not really in the helping phase but I love that he’s seeing what we’re doing.”

Aidan agreed that it is an important learning experience. He said before he wasn’t familiar with those who had financial issues.

“It’s not good to know that there are people out there with financial issues, but it’s good to know that you can help them,” he said.

Conway said the Sharing Tables came around at the right time as she was suffering from “COVID fatigue,” and it changed her outlook on life.

“I feel like my faith in humanity has been restored,” she said.

How you can help

Tischler said that if people would like to donate but cannot get to a Sharing Table, there is an Amazon wish list on the group’s Facebook page. Items ordered through the site will be delivered to Tischler’s home, where she will personally deliver to the Sharing Tables across Long Island. Addresses for locations are listed on the Facebook page.

“It’s been such a whirlwind,” she added. “I have to stop and pinch myself and take stock of what’s happening.”

Bellerose Elementary might be closing in Northport School District. Photo by Lina Weingarten

Members of the Northport-East Northport Board of Education discussed their opinions and preferences surrounding the district’s proposed future plan, ultimately approving a motion to implement one of the scenarios in the 2021-2022 school year. 

In a Dec. 3 virtual board meeting and workshop, the board unanimously approved a motion to implement Adapted Scenario A for the upcoming year — which involves closing Dickinson Avenue and Bellerose Avenue elementary schools. According to the Northport-East Northport district website, it also converts the remaining four elementary schools to grades K-4, and both middle schools will house grades 5-8. The high school remains the same, with grades 9-12.

“The priority throughout this entire process, going back over a year ago now, was to maintain the diversity and excellence of the educational program, and that includes class size goals,” Superintendent Robert Banzer said at the meeting. 

The front of Dickinson Elementary School. Photo by Lina Weingarten

Scenario A was developed in consultation with the SES Study Team, which began in June 2019, and reviewed by the Community Advisory Committee. Since its inception, Banzer said, the district heard from nearly 1,900 participants within the community, after asking what priorities the district should consider throughout their planning. 

“I do want to thank everybody for your participation in this process and giving us and the board the opportunity to hear from you,” he said. 

According to the district, the savings that could be saved from utilizing Scenario A would be between $5.2-6.6 million. 

The board also decided that the Brosnan building will continue to house administration unless a guaranteed buyer purchases the building, which would generate significant funds. 

This planning process was implemented to create a “roadmap” for future decisions surrounding the district in a cost-effective way but will continue to benefit students and members of the community. 

The district also noted on their website that many factors influenced the decision to implement the Future Study — primarily declining enrollment and the pending LIPA settlement.

They stated that since 2014, district enrollment has declined significantly from 5,748 students in the 2014-2015 school years, to 5,138 in the 2019-2020 school year. The decrease of 610 pupils equates to a -10.6% change over the past six years. 

According to the district’s website, the LIPA suit settlement, agreed upon by the Town of Huntington Board in September 2020, will result in a reduction of LIPA’s tax payments to the district from $86 million to $46 million over the next seven years. This settlement will result in an increase in property tax payments for community home and business owners. The Future Study will help to mitigate this increase. 

Peter Goldstein, staff pharmacist at Jones Drug Store in Northport. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Amazon says it can save people money on their medications, but local pharmacy owners say there’s a big problem with that: There won’t be that human element customers get from a pharmacist behind the counter if they order from behind a computer screen. 

This week the online retailer announced new pharmacy offerings to help customers purchase their prescription medications through Amazon Pharmacy — a new store on the website that provides an entire pharmacy transaction through an Amazon account. 

Mike Nastro, owner of Fairview Pharmacy in Port Jefferson Station. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“People like their community pharmacy,” said Mike Nastro, owner of Fairview Pharmacy & Homecare Supply in Port Jefferson Station. “I take care of the specialty patient populations that require intimate service — hopefully that will sustain me.”

Amazon Pharmacy states that by using a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions and choose payment options before checking out. Amazon Prime members will receive unlimited, free two-day delivery on orders through the online shop.

But this announcement isn’t new, according to Nastro.

“They’ve been talking about this for a while,” he said. “It’s going to hurt the industry a lot. It may hurt the chains more initially, but it’ll hurt the entire brick-and-mortar industry.”

Two years ago, Amazon purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy startup, in a $753 million acquisition. 

“As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” Doug Herrington, senior vice president of North America Consumer at Amazon, said in a statement. “PillPack has provided exceptional pharmacy service for individuals with chronic health conditions for over six years. Now, we’re expanding our pharmacy offering to Amazon.com, which will help more customers save time, save money, simplify their lives and feel healthier.”

Local pharmacies might be in danger with Amazon’s new pharmacy service. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Nastro said that there are many benefits with personal pharmacy service like privacy and face-to-face communication.

“We keep people out of the hospital by intervening, and by knowing the person and seeing what medications they’re on,” he said. “It’s an important role, and if that’s obliterated it will have an adverse effect on the medical industry.”

Peter Goldstein, a staff pharmacist at Jones Drug Store in Northport, said in the 30-plus years he’s been in the industry, Amazon will not be able to help patients like he and his colleagues do.

“I will put my service against any mail order or Amazon any day,” he said. “We know the patients, especially in the community. We know their family history and there’s so much that goes into it, that quite frankly people will miss. What will you do if your insulin gets sent to the wrong site?”

Goldstein noted something like storing medications at the required room temperature is an issue if it ends up sitting in a mailbox. 

“It’s personal touches that we take for granted,” he said. 

And one of those personal touches is quick delivery that Nastro’s store has been doing all along.

“We’re not there in two days,” he said. “We’re there in two hours.”

Michael DeAngelis, owner of Village Chemists of Setauket, said his family has owned their store since 1960. DeAngelis and his father saw the changes in pharmaceutical care throughout the years although this is a whole new level. 

Michael DeAngelis, owner of Village Chemists of Setauket. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“We managed to survive Genovese, Eckerd, Rite Aid and now Walgreens,” he said. “[Those stores] even sent people here to solve a problem or order something they couldn’t get.”

While COVID-19 has conditioned people to stay indoors more, DeAngelis said contacting a pharmacy store is a different experience.

“If you call the Village Chemists, you will not get a machine that makes you listen to an endless menu,” he said. “You will get a human being who will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.”

These local pharmacists want people to know they are here for them and will be, despite the larger competition coming their way.

“Community pharmacists are really your advocate,” Nastro said. “With Amazon, what you’re not going to have is that personal service. It’s not just buying goods — we both have medication — there’s a service that comes with that medication and that service keeps people out of the hospital. It keeps people alive.”

File photo

Suffolk County Police said two North Shore residents were shot and injured outside an East Patchogue bar early Saturday morning.

Police said a man was escorted from El Buen Ambiente, located at 466 East Main St. in East Patchogue, following an altercation with another patron. The man retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and began shooting, striking two bystanders outside the bar at approximately 1:30 a.m, Oct. 24.

A 39-year-old Lake Grove man, who was shot twice in his legs, was transported to Long Island Community Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. A 26-year-old Northport man, who was struck once in the leg, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The shooter fled in an unknown direction.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the 5thSquad at 631-854-8552 or to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

A Hampton Inn will turn the old Huntington Town Hall into a boutique hotel. Rendering by Huntington Village Hotel Partners LLC

Plans are moving forward, adding two new boutique-style hotels to the Town of Huntington — the goal being to bring people to both Huntington village and Northport.

An artistic rendering of what the proposed hotel and restaurant at 225 Main Street in Northport Village may look like. Photo from Kevin O’Neill

George Tsunis and Rosario Cassata, developers with Huntington Village Hotel Partners, worked alongside the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to approve a plan that will remodel the old Huntington Town Hall building into a Hampton Inn & Suites.

Anthony Catapano, executive director of the IDA, said the 110-year-old historic structure has become a vacant space over the last 10 years, so utilizing the property into something that can bring business downtown, he thinks, is exciting.

“The area has a tourism aspect,” he said. “The new owner is experienced in hotel operations and will be able to manage it. I think it will be a successful endeavor and a plus to downtown Huntington.”

Located at 227 Main St., the outside facade will not change.

“The 80-room hotel will be built in the back, and the front will be meeting rooms,” he said. “It will still keep its original look.”

Catapano added that the empty building is accruing $60,000 each year in property taxes, so the inn will bring plenty of incentives, and people, to the town.

“It will encourage visitors to use the amenities in the village,” he said. “The hotel itself will become a destination.”

Catapano said the construction process will take about 18 months.

“Originally it was set for the second quarter of 2021, but because of COVID it’s looking like it will probably spill into 2022,” he said. “It’s starting to gear up. Hospitality and the hotel business have been hit hard because of the pandemic.”

As of right now, workers began gutting the space and cleaning up asbestos. Catapano said the building’s developer is looking forward to bringing a change to the village.

“He’s very eager,” he said. “He’s from Huntington and wants to make a positive impact.”

Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinnaci (R) is supportive of the boutique hotel.

“The addition of a hotel will bring a much-needed dimension to the overall downtown Huntington experience,” he said in a statement.” With a concert venue right in the center of the village, along with the numerous shops and restaurants, visitors can now have a place to stay for a mini-vacation right here. This is great for the local economy and will be sure to make Huntington even more vibrant in the years to come.”

A little more than five miles away in Northport, a smaller hotel is being built.

Developed by John W. Engeman Theater owners Kevin O’Neill and Richard Dolce, a 24-room hotel, Italian steakhouse and bar is being developed at 224 Main St. right across the street.

“Northport is a beautiful harbor town,” O’Neill said. “People who come and visit here will ask ‘Where is the local inn?’”

The Engeman Theater brings roughly 110,000 people to the village every year, which obviously didn’t happen in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. 

O’Neill said construction also needed to be halted when the pandemic hit.

“We’re building later than I wanted,” he said. “We’re hoping for a fall 2021 completion.”

At the end of 2015, he purchased the building across the street from his theater. His goal was to bring “a combination of an old beautiful building with something modern inside.”

Now that people are starting to get more comfortable, O’Neill said construction
has resumed.

“The inn will be a way to get people here on a year-round basis,” he said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Although, compared to the old Huntington Town Hall hotel, it will be built completely new, he said, but the Northport Hotel will have “real old-world charm.”

“There used to be hotels on Main Street 100, 125 years ago,” he said. “I want it to feel like it’s 100 years old, with modern amenities.”