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Restaurateur James Bonanno honored at Chamber Coalition Dinner in Port Jeff Station

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Restaurateur James Bonanno of The Tap Room was honored Tuesday in Port Jefferson Station for all the work he’s done for Patchogue Village and the local business community.

Bonanno was chosen as the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year for 2017, and recognized during the Brookhaven Coalition of Chambers Annual Dinner at The Meadow Club.

Within the past two years alone, Bonanno has opened a second Tap Room — also with partner Dave Johnson — this time in Massapequa Park, along with Flight and a new acai bowl chain called Bango Bowls, which started in Nassau and is soon opening a location in Bay Shore.

In the meantime, The Tap Room in Patchogue has doubled in size with an upstairs addition.

“You might have heard a little rumor; there’s been a few new restaurants that opened recently in Patchogue,” the chamber’s executive director, David Kennedy, told those in attendance Tuesday evening. “Leading the charge has been James Bonanno of The Tap Room, who now owns a second restaurant known as Flight that’s getting amazing reviews.”

Kennedy also spoke of the efforts Bonanno has made as chair of the chamber’s restaurant committee.

“When we were looking a few years ago [to form a restaurant committee] and thinking about who would be the right person, it only took a few seconds to realize that James Bonanno was the perfect person,” Kennedy said. “He’s got such an incredible personality. He’s a team player. And he puts his ego aside, even though he’s so accomplished at such a young age.”

“Since the restaurant committee was formed,” Kennedy continued, “it’s raised thousands of dollars for charities, for our food pantries, for the local arts community. The restaurants truly are the new energy that’s making Patchogue hum right now and it’s under the tutelage of James Bonanno.”

For his part, Bonanno gave much credit for Patchogue’s resurgence to the many active members within the chamber, as well as the support from Village Hall.

“Village officials … are tremendously supportive of all the businesses in Patchogue, and all the restaurants,” Bonanno said. “I have friends who own restaurants on main streets throughout the island, and in the summertime it can be tough for them. On the flip side we’re thriving, because of that type of support.”

The chamber’s restaurant committee formed in 2014.

Bonanno has chaired the group ever since.

“The committee is a way for all the restaurant owners to get together, once a month, and collaborate on different events and think about how we could make the community better as whole by coming together,” he explained before Tuesday night’s dinner. “We’ve been able to put some great events together and raise some money for good causes.”

Photo (L-R) David Kennedy and James Bonanno at The Meadow Club dinner. (Michael White)

PRIOR COVERAGE

Tap Room owners building pizza & tapas restaurant in Patchogue

Flight swings open its doors on West Main Street in Patchogue

The Tap Room in Patchogue is expanding upstairs

The Tap Room’s sparkling new upstairs opens to the public

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