After 15 years of running restaurants, Matt Aserno faces a problem he said was previously unheard of in his business.
It’s the same problem many in the industry are facing: a lack of help.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” said Aserno, 35, of Kings Park, told greatersmithtown.com earlier this month. “We’ve been in this business a long time and anytime you needed somebody, there was always someone to fill in that spot.”
He and his partner, Roberto Megia, closed their Ciro’s Italian Restaurant at 470 Wheeler Road in Hauppauge this past January to rebrand the space as Nosh Kitchen & Cocktails. (They also own Ciro’s in Kings Park.)
They expected to open four months ago, but still cannot get enough people to fully staff the place, especially in the front of the house.
Whether Nosh will have enough staff to open soon remains to be seen.
In the meantime, here’s what Nosh will be all about.
cocktails and small plates
Aserno said Ciro’s in Kings Park has a strong following, but felt it was time for a change in Hauppauge.
“We had the Italian restaurant, we were there 10 years,” he said. “And with everything that happened with the pandemic, like many places, we felt like we had to change in order to grow.”
For those who use the term interchangeably with eat, Nosh actually means “to eat food enthusiastically.”
His new restaurant sporting the term will have a small plates- and cocktail-oriented approach to target business clientele and happy hour crowds seeking a cocktail and something to, well, nosh on.
“We got street tacos on the menu,” he said. “We got some flat breads going which we’re excited about. We’re gonna do a twist on wings, different kinds of sauces that aren’t your everyday run of the milll BBQ, buffalo.”
Aserno said he is still ironing out kinks in the menu, as many of the plates and drinks he planned for the May opening are now out of season.
This month, he had been hoping to finalize a menu that allows patrons to taste from food selections with a wide array of influences.
“We’re gonna play with different flavors from all over the world,” Aserno said. “We have some Thai influence, we have some Spanish influence, as well as Italian. We got a little of everything.”
Aserno said Nosh will also offer entrees like scallops and shrimp buns and he hopes to continue catering as hosting events, an important part of Ciro’s business.
“We’re gonna have small plates, we’re gonna have big plates,we’re gonna do it all.”
Top: Matt Aserno Roberto Megia show off their new restaurant sign. Credit: Ciro’s on Facebook