With BBQ, beer and guitars, The Tap Room celebrated a decade of operating in Patchogue Sunday with a block party event.
James Bonanno, who owns the restaurant alongside partner David Johnson, said the first goal was to thank their staff and the Patchogue community for making their restaurant, which will soon have four locations, possible.
The festivities were held on Railroad Avenue, just south of Main Street.
In addition to their Island Times Catering Co. food truck, the duo set up a television outside so patrons could watch the New York Giants football game while they drank the Blue Point Brewery’s beers and new LIIT hard tea seltzers.
However, more people tuned in to the 90s band as the five-piece ran through tunes by Nirvana, Green Day and Stone Temple Pilots.
About 20 feet away from the band was the owners’ second objective: spools of blue tickets.
“We’ve got tremendous support from people showing up and people buying raffles,” Bonanno said. “We’re taking all the money from the event here and putting towards IGHL. There’s all types of fun raffles. There’s bikes, coolers and a lot of local restaurants gave us gift cards.”
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The Tap Room has been involved with IGHL for a few years now, and the Patchogue location’s 10th anniversary provided a perfect opportunity to host a fundraiser. In addition to the raffles, all the proceeds from the food served from the Bonanno and Johnson-owned Island Time Catering Co. food truck parked on Railroad Avenue would be donated.
Many of the Tap Room’s employees volunteer for IGHL, including Jessica Burke, the company’s regional manager. She worked at Smile Farms, a greenhouse and nursery in Moriches that provides meaningful work growing flowers for wholesale for 30 intellectually disabled adults. Burke worked for Smile Farms through IGHL’s community and corporate engagement program.
“I wanted it to be an initiative for our staff as well,” Burke said after recounting her volunteer experiences. “As a restaurant we are always relying on our community to support our business and we’re always looking for ways to return the favor and give back.”
Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri, who is the chairman of IGHL’s board, stopped by the block party around 3 p.m.
“We have well over 100 group homes for developmentally disabled adults,” Pontieri said. “We’re a very large not-for-profit, but we have a lot of needs for the people we service, those that we train and the staff that we have. Events like this are critical to organizations like IGHL.
“When Jamie [Bonanno] told me he was getting involved I was very excited because he’s the kind of guy you want. This is the kind of event you want to see where you bring the community together to support the greater good.”
Monday morning, Bonanno said Sunday’s event raised over $5,000 for IGHL.
Scroll down for photos from the day.