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Business Owners Mixed On Possible Alive After Five Changes

Some restaurant owners are happy and unhappy with the possible family-oriented shift for Alive After Five, former AA5 coordinator also weighs in.

The recently announced changes to possibly make the Alive After Five summer festivals in Patchogue a more family-oriented affair have brought out a divided opinion among some Patchogue business owners.

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John Peragine, owner of Perabell Food Bar, said that the move to Thursdays coupled with the possibility of not being able to set up beer gardens in the same fashion as in the past makes involvement fiscally unappealing. 

“It’s financially not worth it for me to put 10 more tables outside,” Peragine told Patch. “The money we used for the bands and space was generated from the beer garden; without the beer garden there goes a lot of money for the restaurants.” 

As previously reported, modifications to the beer gardens are being discussed amongst the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, Patchogue Village and the Suffolk County Police Fifth Precinct, which include possibilities such as ordering drinks inside of a restaurant and then walking with them in a defined area or requiring drinks with table dining or service. 

Peragine said that his restaurant has been involved with Alive After Five, sponsoring one of its stages, since 2006. After moving to their Patchogue Theatre-adjacent location, the restaurant has continued to share a stage sponsorship spot with Public House 49. 

Peragine said that he has not noticed any major safety incidents from Alive After Five that caused a negative impact on his restaurant. 

“The only time it gets a little hairy is that hour after we shut down until the actual road gets up,” Peragine said. During that time he said people are looking for a place to go until they find one. 

Paul DeSimone, owner of Main Street Italian Bistro, had the opposite sentiment from Peragine about the possible changes. 

“It’s not going to affect me, it will actually be better for me,” DeSimone said. “It won’t take away from my Friday business, and I’ll make more money on Thursday.” 

DeSimone also said that a fight involving two revelers broke out in front of his restaurant during last summer’s festival, discouraging his customers. 

“The problem is not the Alive After Five, the problem is people staggering at 9 p.m.,” DeSimone said. 

Tom Keegan, co-owner of Brick House Brewery and a member of the Chamber, said that no matter what shakes out regarding beer gardens, his business will not be affected negatively. 

"If they want wait staff only, we can adjust to that," Keegan said.

He said the restaurant has both the kitchen to do wait service and their own hops garden in the back.

Mindy Skura, owner of Remember Yesteryears and the former coordinator of Alive After Five for the past eight years, wrote a letter posted on Patch with her concerns and discussed how the Chamber financially benefits from the festival.

"While the Chamber's Committees all have their own fund raising events, they are minimal in profit, and that money is used for that Committee to function for that year," Skura wrote. "The Chamber was able to utilize the monies raised from AA5 to grow (ie: help purchase patchogue.com and new computers) and supplement some of their yearly base expenses such as the Executive Director's salary."

Skura writes that there were 35 security guards stationed at the event, and that there were rules already installed at the beer gardens to keep it age appropriate and for drinks to not leave the beer gardens. She also wrote that while she understands both the Village and SCPD's reasons for changing the night, she said that in her opinion the new board is not managing the Chamber as a business.

"But if this event is not in the black, or ceases to exist, the Chamber will once again be scrambling to stay at the break even line. I am not sure if they understand this reality. Every space available needs to be maximized for profitability- this is how the bills get paid," wrote Skura.

What are your thoughts on the possible Alive After Five changes? Add them in the comments.

Bob Micca March 01, 2013 at 04:25 PM
I'm neither a registered Dem nor a registered Repub. Ergo, I can anything I damn please about either of those two parties with perfect aplomb. Over-indulgence in political back-and-forth tends to bring out the goat in me. It's depressing once you come to see that most "sides" are not free from sin. Harping on gasoline failed last time around? That says something about what the voters are really concerned about? Don't like this town? Constructively I say, if that were my unchangeable lot, I'd be seeking to leave this town for greener pastures somewhere else. I'm not married to any particular location. I've lived in over a dozen places and, in spite of its imperfections, I like what the bright side of Patchogue has to offer. Back in the day when there were weekly village meetings, I used to go virtually every week. Wild West Days, they were. Today? I'll offer Ideas in various venues - such as this blog; and, I'll never ever lose sleep any more over politics. And, Yes!__I do Vote,_And, I EnJoy Life; but definitely not necessarily in that order. :o)
Scotty March 24, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Jazz! and SMOOTH Jazz! --and I'M on board. Now you're speaking my language. With the demise of IMAC in Huntington along with the only jazz station in NYC we could still hear out here on Long Island we're so deprived of the kind of music and artists we've been dying to go to see for years, now: Peter White, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, etc. They have a HUGE following on Long Island but no one's yet stepped up to the plate to allow these artists to play anywhere out here. They'll come: Peter's made it clear his Annual Christmas Show with Rick Braun and Mindi Abair would gladly come back if invited and the Guitars and Saxes tour too with Gerald Albright, Jeff Golub and Kirk Whalum, et al would put us on the list. Patchogue could be THE focus of Jazz on Long Island..what a great idea!
Scotty March 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM
What? Are you for or against beer? Your comment is contradictory.
Bob Micca March 26, 2013 at 03:29 AM
@ Scotty.. Yes.. With a bit of effort - even on the part of Jazz musicians - your average Music-Loving Jill and Joe can receive some necessary Verbal & Aural educational instruction introductions - into learning HOW to appreciate Jazz Music AS WELL AS the v. high level of musicianship existing within the Jazz Community. JUST AS it takes awhile to learn HOW TO appreciate so-called "classical" music.. so too with Jazz.. .and, due to its generally sense of a "looser" structure.. Jazz needs to be eased into the minds of newbies so that they have something to hold onto.. Once a larger % of the masses achieves said necessary beginners level of appreciation of what's going down, Jazz Music on LI - should finally take off to the cloud which it rightfully deserves..
Roger Passero July 11, 2013 at 09:31 AM
As an owner of a Patchogue business (Mother's Movies on S. Ocean ave.), I say we should have them (alive After 5) 6 months a year! The kind of traffic that is seen at my store during these events is staggering. It is the only time a lot of these people even come into the village. Today people have many choices of where to spend their dollars. Maybe I'm exaggerating but people don't know what new things are in the village if they never go there to know. Alive After Five brings people to the village. Then they return at later dates to patronize the merchants. I have gotten many new customers this way. Otherwise they never even know what is in town.

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