Bryan Patrick Nicholson peacefully passed away surrounded by “his girls” on Jan. 28, 2018.
He fought a courageous cancer battle over the past two years and overcame many obstacles. Bryan’s will to live and zest for life were beyond admirable. His honesty, kindness, and generous personality brought tremendous joy and smiles to so many.
He was an icon in his beloved town of Davis Park as well as a local fixture in Blue Point. He was an avid seaman who loved everything about the water. From surfing to fishing to boating to beach walks, Bryan was happiest with his feet in the sand.
Bryan was a well-known bartender since the 1980’s among the South Shore. He spent years at Crickets in Sayville followed by The Oar House in Patchogue and a few more spots in between.
However, Bryan could always be found at his favorite bar, The Casino Café on Fire Island. He was a staple on Sundays and Mondays for almost 30 years.
This is where Bryan truly influenced so many.
He was always there to lend an ear to anyone who needed to chat. His vivacious smile upon greeting you made you instantly feel your presence around him was genuinely wanted. Anyone who knows the restaurant industry understands how it can burn you out, but Bryan’s heart was created to cheer people up.
He was a people person and a true extrovert. Bryan was happiest when others were experiencing joy. He was always interested in everyone’s endeavors and offered sound advice to his patrons, whom he truly considered friends.
He was a beacon of good energy and was always overflowing with positive vibes. To say he had a following is an understatement, Bryan loved to connect people. His bar never had strangers, just friends who hadn’t met yet.
Born Nov. 6, 1947 in Brooklyn, Bryan Patrick was the first of five children. His mother Alicia gave birth to him while his father, Jack, was away in the Merchant Marines. Bryan was her special baby; his mother possessed a deep love for him that she held onto up until her passing in 2001.
Bryan is survived by his father Jack who turned 94 on Feb. 6, 2018. He is also survived by his sisters Kathleen (Joe), Nancy (Mark), Joanie (Tim) and brother, Jack.
Bryan grew up in Port Jefferson and attended Infant Jesus School. The family moved to Huntington during Bryan’s high school years and he graduated from Walt Whitman High School. Bryan spent numerous hours in his teens surfing from Montauk to Gilgo. He wanted nothing more than to move to California upon his high school graduation.
He enrolled in Santa Monica College, but in true Bryan fashion decided to “major” in surfing instead. He lived in Venice and spent every day in a wet suit. He was living the dream.
Bryan got married and started a family soon after, which brought him back to the East Coast. He went on to manage multiple Record Worlds on Long Island and his love of music made this his dream job. He attended countless concerts and knew endless music trivia. He knew everything there was to know about 60’s music.
Record World was where he met the love of his life, “Miss Trish.” After working together and becoming great friends, they began dating and married in 1987. Together, they raised their daughter Ali, who was their pride and joy. Bryan adored all his family and friends but was able to form an incredible bond over the last five years with his younger brother.
Jack lives in Newport Beach, California, and Bryan spent four winters there with him making beautiful memories. Their 10 year age gap always put them in different places throughout their lives, but Jack truly became one of his best friends. He loved him dearly.
He spoke fondly of his lovely friends in Corona Del Mar, his travels throughout California, and his experience in Maui last November. He had an incredible last few years.
Bryan was also a 20+ year member of the Davis Park Fire Department. He loved his “brothers” immensely and was beyond proud to belong to the department. He was a staple to the Davis Park community as well. Bryan first started coming to Leja Beach in the 1950s when his father moved the family boat from the Long Island Sound to the Great South Bay.
As a young kid, Bryan immediately fell in love with the bay and everything about it. He enjoyed helping navigate the cabin cruiser with his Dad, swimming off the back of the boat, and hours anchored in the middle of the bay. He returned to Davis Park in his 30s and began renting share houses soon after. He brought his lifelong love, Patti, to the beach soon after.
As Bryan would say “she became obsessed with the place.” They shared many fond memories and made beautiful friendships throughout the 80s and 90s. Bryan began bartending at the Casino Cafe in 1988 and worked up until this past Memorial Day Weekend. He loved his Sunday and Monday nights, but his regulars loved them even more.
This past summer, anyone filling in for Bryan while he was sick was prepared to answer MANY “Where’s Bryan?” questions. Bryan loved the pre and post season at Davis Park the most. He would spend most of his time there in September and October surf casting and enjoying the tranquility.
He loved being a member of the amazing community that is Davis Park, it was truly his home. Bryan was Davis Park.
Lastly, Bryan leaves behind his most prized possession, his daughter Ali. Known to most as “his Aligirl,” they shared an incredible father-daughter bond. Ali shared Bryan’s love of the water from a young age. The two spent hours surfing together in the Atlantic Ocean and as co-captains navigating the Great South Bay.
Bryan enjoyed every aspect of being Ali’s dad. He was the “room Dad” during her childhood, attending almost every field trip and class party. He was her biggest cheerleader throughout each sport she played, from sasketball to Softball.
Most recently, when Ali picked up running road races, he could be found in the middle of the finish line snapping her photo. Their bond was beautiful and amongst the most rare.
Ali will feel that love forever.
Family and friends celebrated Bryan’s life this past weekend in true Bryan fashion. A wake was held at Moloney’s Family Funeral Home in Holbrook on Feb. 2. The Davis Park Fire Department gave a beautiful send off to a special soul. Deacon John Newhall, and good friend of Bryan, shared sweet stories about Bryan and offered his blessing.
The following day a tremendously moving funeral mass was held at Our Lady of the Snow in Blue Point. Not a dry eye could be found, as Father Frank offered more kind thoughts about Bryan having known him over 20 years.
Family and friends enjoyed a lunch at the Blue Point Firehouse equipped with a hot dog cart, cracker jacks and peanuts to celebrate Bryan’s beloved New York Mets.
Bryan was cremated and the Nicholson family will be hosting a memorial over the summer at his beloved Davis Park. Information will be posted in the spring, and all who loved him are welcome to attend.