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What's Cookin'? - Smithtown - Old Street Restaurant And Bar


What’s Cookin’? – Smithtown

By Nancy Vallarella

Old Street Restaurant and Bar Where great food, friends, families and memories are made!

In 1967, two south shore residents/business partners opened Gold Street Pub in Smithtown. In less than two years, they sold the business to Long Island Duck’s (hockey) Right Wing, Don Atamanchuck. Don made the frugal executive decision to drop the “G” in Gold Street when it broke off the sign. Hence the birth of Old Street Pub. Fast forward several decades, a few renovations, a couple expansions, and a third owner.

Today, Old Street Restaurant and Bar has one hundred-seventy seats and a vast menu. It is currently owned and operated by thePizzimenti Family since 1996. Father (Frank), mother (Nancy), daughter (Laura) and son (Frank) have kept this establishment rich in history and great food. Many of the menu items have remained for decades. Customers insist that they do. It is obvious that these dishes are done well and take loyal customers back to a moment.

Complimentary deep fried rye triangles with a beer and cheddar cheese spread is served to dining customers. The rye bread is baked by neighboring business, Alpine Bakery. This appetizer is also sold on their “Starter Menu” in portions of 2, 4 or 6. No doubt it was being enjoyed at the bar when Smithtown resident/attorney, Ralph Lombardi made his infamous pay phone call to Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley during the 1972 World Series. Ralph’s mission was to lend Charlie advice on how to win against the Cincinnati Reds. The final score A’s – 3, Reds – 2. This moment is commemorated with a plaque hanging in the bar area.

Twenty-eight years with Old Street, head chef, and sometimes bartender Joe LaRock explains several key reasons for the success of Old Street’s menu longevity, “Our meat is sourced from the same purveyor for the past 20 years.   It is hand cut and roasted in house.”  Burger of the week specials contribute to the 2,500 - 3,000 burgers served monthly. “All soups and stocks are made from scratch.” The French onion soup is a year-round favorite. Other menu options with a loyal following are NY Shell Steak and Marinated Steak Sandwich.

Recently, Nissequogue residents gathered to feast on an array of Old Street’s offerings: Seared Tuna Salad, Spicy Shrimp Avocado, Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Baked Clams, Pumpkin Ravioli, Kale and Butternut Squash Salad, Old Street Salad, Chicken Caprese, Salmon and Rice, Sliced NY Shell Steak, Chicken Cardinale, a trilogy of: Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and Onion Rings, an assortment of Burgers and desserts.

Nissequogue resident and Long-time customer Fred Hagenberger shared with neighbors his fondest memory. He recalled the holiday he hosted a family dinner at Old Street. After a great meal enjoyed by all, he arranged for limousines waiting outside the restaurant. The family was whisked into Manhattan to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Old Street is a home away from home for many Smithtown residents.  On any given day, since 1969 you can find Walter (Wally) and James (Jimmy Townline) at the bar ready to give up their seat and share stories about the patrons and employees.  Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve, James has OSP tattooed on his forearm!

Ask any Smithtown resident if they have an Old Street memory. If they don’t, they know someone who does. I recall nine years ago, sitting in Mrs. Robin Baker’s 2nd-grade class for meet the teacher night at Saint James Elementary. She introduced herself and shared the story of her life-long Smithtown residency. Growing up in Smithtown, attending school here, and even meeting her husband at Old Street Pub. To this day, Robin and her husband Jim dine at Old Street. They are joined by their children and enjoy menu favorites: Hickory Burger, Steaks and French Onion soup.

trio of fries & onion rings, salad LJO PhotographyRobin and Jim Baker, married thirty-five years, are not the only ones who fell in love at Old Street. Back in their teens Sue Langill and Mike Guglielmo were sweethearts. They had many date night dinners at Old Street. When they prepared to wed, Old Street was the natural choice for their rehearsal dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Guglielmo have been married for 26 years.  Charlie Costello popped the question at Old Street 12 years ago. Kim said yes and they had their baby shower there in 2005.

Old Street Restaurant and Pub has nearly 50 years of continuous operation to celebrate. What better way to celebrate than with those who have memories filled with love and Old Street food!

Share your love story. If possible, include then and now pictures.

Send to Pat Biancaniello, editor of Smithtown Matters at pat@smithtownmatters.com  through January 31, 2016.  Finalist will be judged on an Awww factor. Winner will receive dinner for two on February 14, 2016, at Old Street Restaurant and Pub.


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102 W. Main Street, Smithtown, is once again a source of contention for Smithtown’s Town Board members.  The owner of the property, VEA 181st Realty Corp, has razed the buildings on the property and was required, as part of their demolition plan, to remove the concrete from the premises. VEA is requesting a waiver from this requirement and seeking permission to grind-up concrete on the property. After the material is ground it will be converted into a 5-ft berm and stored on the property for later use. This proposal has drawn the ire of Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio. 

At the July 14 Town Board work session Supervisor Vecchio blasted the waiver request. “Why would the Town accommodate him (Salvatore DiCarlo, Owner of VEA 181st Realty Corp) to allow him to grind up material on the property,” said Supervisor Vecchio. Mr. DiCarlo submitted his original site plan to the Town in 2007. In 2009 without a demolition site plan, buildings on the property were demolished even after the Town issued a stop-work-order. In 2014 the Town Board approved the demolition site plan for Mr. DiCarlo in which he was required and agreed to remove the concrete from the property. 

Since the demolition no site plans have been submitted to the Planning Department although Planning Director David Flynn acknowledged that many renditions have been examined and planners have spent many hours going over the renditions. No fees have been received for examining the renditions. Mr. Vecchio accused DiCarlo of playing the Town. Councilman Creighton disagreed with Vecchio’s assessment. “I believe this applicant has been trying to build for years and we have been, in many cases, an obstacle to his building. In some cases, without much justification.” said Councilman Creighton. 

“I, for one, will vote no on the waiver…It’s about time he puts the pedal to the metal,” said Supervisor Vecchio.  

102 W. Main Street (the former Nassau-Suffolk Lumber) is located across from Town Hall and multiple small businesses. It is in close proximity to residential areas and the New York Avenue School which hosts Smithtown SD’s administration, a day-care facility, and many of the Smithtown Kickers soccer games and practices.  

Home overlooking a pile of building debrisSome residents in the area are not happy and plan to attend meetings to let the Town Board members know how unhappy they are. Jen Bender has lived in her home on New York Ave. for thirteen years. In a conversation with Smithtown Matters she expressed her dissatisfaction with the waiver request. “I am very concerned, I have one son with asthma. The proposal makes me sick. My kids play in the back yard constantly. We lived through the demolition and now they want to grind the concrete. What about the health and well being of my family and the other kids in this area?” Ms. Bender is determined to make sure her voice is heard at a future Town Board meeting. 

Smithtown Matters reached out to former resident of Smithtown, Jason Toto. Mr. Toto is a trained geologist and educator with Sachem Central School District. Mr. Toto had this to say about the proposal, “As a trained geologist & educator of earth science for the last 12 years I would have great concern about the open air particulates that would be released due to the proposed plan of action to grind-up the concrete from the old Nassau Suffolk Lumberyard.  You must first and foremost understand the pulverized material that will be created can easily measure less than 0.0001cm in diameter.  Such sized particulates would create a significant respiratory concern for the local merchants, community members, children in their homes and for those using the adjacent sports fields.  Such particulates have been found when inhaled to cause throat and lung irritation, which could long term raise significant health concerns. Proper remediation of this site should include a closed system in which the rock could be crushed and the microscopic airborne particulates contained and filtered from freely entering the atmosphere. It would be preferably to remove the material in large sections and bring them to an off-site facially for processing.  Aside from a visual inspection of this material, it would behoove the citizens of Smithtown to have a sample of this material sent off to an accredited laboratory to ascertain exactly what the true chemical and physical composition of the material in question is prior to allowing more of this multi-decade old material to enter the environment. It can adversely affect the public’s health as well as yield potential environmental concerns as the material is whisked into the surrounding ecosystems, drainage system and the ventilation systems of surrounding homes and businesses as free radicals which are know to adversely affect health.  Furthermore, the use of water to keep the dust particles from becoming airborne is not without merit; however, it too yields a secondary problem as the copious amounts of water with dissolved and non-soluble rock product could enter the surrounding environment.” 

Planning Director Flynn took the position that the grinding of concrete on the property would reduce truck traffic.  “It is our opinion that if this mound was only five-feet high and vegetated it would be a good design.” Said Flynn. 

Flynn also said that Mr.DiCarlo would be going “above and beyond” normal Town Code ordinaces for grinding operations. The work would take place during the hours of 9am and 4pm on weekdays. Supervisor Vecchio brought up the issue of noise and questioned whether rock crushing was permitted in the area.

The waiver request was tabled until August.

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