The opening of Catch Oyster Bar is celebrated on North Ocean Avenue


Mike Avino, formerly a live event coordinator for MTV, really knows how to work a crowd.

“It’s an honor to be part of this revitalization of one of the greatest villages in America!” Avino said to raucous applause at his packed Catch Oyster Bar in Patchogue Wednesday.

He and the village were celebrating Catch’s opening at 63 North Ocean Avenue. The event drew friends, family and fans Patchogue and Bellport, where the Avinos, led by Mike’s sister Merri Avino, also run Avino’s Italian Table. The Avinos for years operated Bellport Chowder House.

On Wednesday, Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy welcomed what he called “the famous Avino family” back to Patchogue.

(Mike’s father, Jim, was one of the original owners of Brickhouse Brewery.)

Mayor Paul Pontieri, also a longtime administrator in the South Country School District, said “the Avino family has been a great part of the Patchogue and Bellport communities.”

Open since late February, Catch serves mostly seafood — with an emphasis on raw offerings — out of a small storefront space reminiscent of the urban oyster bars of the early 20th century.

Pontieri called Catch “just another niche place that sets us apart from everybody else.”

But it might not be for long.

In a recent Newsday review, food critic Peter M. Gianotti wrote: “After a dozen on the half shell, you’ll start wondering why there isn’t a Catch in every downtown.”

Mike Avin — who runs Catch with his dad — called the project “a labor of love for me and my entire family,” which also includes a group of cousins, “who are here almost every day.”

“We’re just really proud to have our little slice [of Patchogue],” he said. “We really look forward to seeing you for a long time to come.”

Top: Mike Avino (center, with scissors) and his mother, Nancy, and father, Jim, are joined by Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri (right) and others outside Catch Oyster Bar in Patchogue Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Credit: Michael White)

Mike Avino serves up crab cake sliders during Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting party. (Credit: Michael White)

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