One of the island’s fastest-growing restaurant groups is now operating The Wharf in Oakdale and have quietly built a waterfront wonderland for weddings and special events.
Lily Flanagan’s Restaurant Group took over the mainstay tavern at the southern end of Vanderbilt Boulevard in May of 2020. The upgrades began immediately.
New features include, among others, three sprawling paved patios, an outdoor bar, fireplaces and two party tents with room for up to 250 guests to eat, drink and dance.
The property has already played host to 10 picturesque weddings, complete with panoramic views of the river, Great South Bay and Fire Island.
The river boat dock, the owners noted, also provides for a gorgeous natural backdrop for nuptials.
At The Wharf, brides have the option to book the whole space, which includes the indoors for cocktail hours or after-parties, or celebrate solely outside.
“Whatever you want to do, we can accommodate,” said The Wharf’s manager, Justin Crowe.
“This is not a set, structured catering venue,” added Lauren Salamone, also of Lily Flanagan’s Restaurant Group. “It could be a rustic affair, or more formal. We can make it as fancy or as casual as a couple needs.”
Weddings at The Wharf can be as small as 40 guests, or as big as 250, she said.
The company can also provide couples with music, flowers, desserts and more for complete wedding and event packages.
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A Wharf wedding story
Laura, 31, and Daniel LaRosa, 33, both nurses, were married at The Wharf on Sept. 19, 2020, after they had to cancel their original wedding date over COVID-19 restrictions.
Her dad, who lives in Northport, knew about The Wharf, as he kept his boat elsewhere on the river. He encouraged the couple to check it out.
“It was literally right on the water, with a beautiful view of the marina and everything in the background,” Laura said. “So we went there, we ate there, we loved the food and the service. And they helped us plan a wedding in three weeks!”
“And everything was so nice, from the decor, to the bar, to the palm trees, and the ceremony on the water,” she said. “We had a quick, 15-minute ceremony and then it was just a party.”
And they did party.
“We started at 2 p.m. and didn’t leave until around midnight,” Laura said with a laugh. “And at the end they surprised us with passed, late-night food like mini grilled cheeses for our guests.”
For the LaRosas, they didn’t book the tavern space; everything was outdoors.
“And even that was so nice because the people who were there dining were cheering us on,” she said. “Everyone at The Wharf went above and beyond.
“They were so accommodating and we just can’t say enough.”