AR Workshop, a DIY boutique, coming to Patchogue


Long Islanders can put their carpentry and painting skills to work at a new DIY boutique workshop coming soon to the Village of Patchogue

AR Workshop, a nationwide hub for DIY craft fans, is slated for 27 South Ocean Avenue, the site of a former nail salon.

Elizabeth Rongo, the franchisee for the forthcoming location, went before the Patchogue Planning Board Tuesday evening. Her store was unanimously approved within fifteen minutes.

Rongo, 45, of Setauket, said patrons can register online to build and paint a variety of wood and canvas projects, from framed wood signs to kitchen trays and from canvas totes to wall hangings. Although it is a DIY session, customers will simply be handed materials and left to their own devices.

“Basically you sign up for a workshop and you come in and we teach you how to make something awesome for your home,” Rongo said in a telephone interview. “We’re for everybody and all skill levels. We have classes for ladies night, date night, bachelorette parties, showers, and then we also have kids camps, we do kids parties.”

While Rongo will not be serving any alcoholic beverages at her store for the adult classes, she said guests are welcomed to bring their own. She told the Planning Board she is preparing to provide prepackaged frozen food for patrons, as she must have food for sale on-site for New York State Liquor Authority compliance.

franchise fan

AR Workshop is the brick and mortar branch of Anders Ruff, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based graphic design, party styling DIY blog and online shop started by Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff in 2010. The company began as an Etsy shop, which Rongo discovered.

“I have always had a love of entertaining, I have four daughters,” Rongo said. “And I found Anders Ruff on Etsy probably 10 years ago. So I’ve always loved the company and fell in love with the idea of owning my own shop with all their projects. It’s always changing and evolving so I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.”

The first AR Workshop opened in 2016. There are now more than 150 locations across 33 states.

Rongo said she decided Patchogue was the best spot for an AR Workshop because of the mixed-age groups that frequent the downtown village. She said she and her husband are frequent diners in the area. “We just love the vibe of the town.”

A few months away

Rongo said she expects her shop to open for classes by the end of August of the beginning of September.

She has already begun brainstorming ideas for her grand opening. “We’ll have lots of giveaways, well have some quick projects for people to do, sample projects,” she said. “We have a little gift shop area, so there’ll be sales on retail. It’ll be exciting.”

Before then, Rongo told the Planning Board she will be doing some DIY painting of her own to get the shop ready.

Rongo said people can check out the shop’s Facebook page and sign up for email alerts on the Patchogue AR Workshop website to find out when the store will be ready to open.

Curious crafters can also check back with GreaterPatchogue for more updates about Patchogue’s upcoming AR Workshop.

“It’s gonna be a really fun spot to come to in Patchogue,” Rongo said. “There’s nothing like it in down in the village so it’ll be a fun place to come with your friends, hang out and make a fun project and just enjoy the village.”

Top: Building wood signs at an AR Workshop (credit: