Transforming the second floor of the Gallo Restaurant in Patchogue from office and storage space to a catering facility wasn’t exactly a no-brainer of a business decision.
Among other things, it involved losing tenants, upgrading sprinklers, replacing a staircase that had led to the street and installing a $25,000 elevator that was required for the move to be ADA compliant.
But the owners did it.
Now they’re booking at least one event every weekend.
David Bustamante, who owns the restaurant with his parents and sister, said they started working on the East Main Street restaurant’s upstairs in 2008.
“We gutted the whole place upstairs, except the fire wall,” he said. “It was a bunch of ideas from all of us. And it just came together and it became a nice party room. But it took tinkering.”
“What’s nice about the hall upstairs is that it’s a whole floor divided into three rooms, so you’re not confined to one dining area with a rollout bar,” he continued. “If you have music playing and people dancing, you can have people at the bar watching the game. You can definitely hide yourself. A lot of other places you have one room, and that’s it — it’s there or you go outside. But the rooms still connect and there’s a nice flow of motion.”
The catering space at Gallo holds up to 100 people. Click here for menu and pricing.
Featured photo caption: Gallo’s upstairs dining room set up for a baby shower. (Credit: Gallo courtesy photo)
BRICKHOUSE BREWERY & RESTAURANT
The rooms upstairs at the BrickHouse aren’t just used for christenings, showers and other family parties.
There’s gallery space for local artists and a regular poetry slam that’s held in the back barroom.
The front room is still used for Kiwanis Club and Lioness meetings.
“We’ve had hip-hop shows, dance shows, CD release parties,” said James Skidmore, the BrickHouse manager who books its entertainment. “I showcase some of the best poets on Long Island once a month up there.”
The front room dates to 1850, and the back room is about 112 years old, Skidmore said. Members of the Old Fellows fraternal organization used to meet in the front room in the 1800s.
“That used to be their meeting room,” Skidmore said. “Even during the Civil War era, community events were discussed in that room. And that still goes on today. Of course it doubles not just as a meeting house but as a catering facility.”
The BrickHouse is located at Havens Avenue and East Main Street, and is the oldest mercantile building in Patchogue Village. The upstairs was used as a general store and then a hardware store before the restaurant was opened in 1996.
“You could actually go up there; it was your typical main street general store,” Skidmore said. “So you could buy anything from a Coca-Cola and some rolls, to a hay bale, to snow shovel or a joint of beef, and everything in between.”
The front room holds 85 people and the back room fits up to 45. Click here for more information.
HARBOR CRAB CO.
We’re not talking about the double-decker steamboat the Barefoot Princess here; passersby could spot that in the canal from a mile away. Although the boat is available for catered events, there’s also a private room on the second floor of the Harbor Crab’s main building. Even some regulars aren’t aware of it, despite its very prominent position overlooking the marina.
Longtime Harbor Crab manager Donna Verderosa said the space once held a DJ booth, and people would pack it in up there to dance. But that was back before Harbor Crab took over 14 years ago, when the restaurant was still Steamer’s.
The upstairs space holds up to 40 people for a party, which is just 1/3 of the 120 people that can fit on the steamboat.
“We don’t often reserve the whole boat,” Verderosa said. “Just if they can promise 80 to 100 people.”
The main level of the boat holds up to 55 people. Click here for more information on catering.