Debbie Tavarone commanded the front of the private room in the back of That Meetball Place in Patchogue on a chilly Monday night. Donning a headset and a paintbrush, her voice rose above the chatter of eager painters, ready to get their drink on and get creative. But before anyone could get started, Tavarone demanded the painters under her tutelage pledge an oath:
“I solemnly swear to have fun and relax,” she asked everyone to repeat. “I will not bitch and moan, I will not throw my canvas across the room, I will not say ‘I ruined it!’”
The recitation set the tone for a fun, pressure-free night where Long Islanders could let their hair down and their inner artists out.
“That’s the beauty of ‘Paint Nite,’” her daughter Tammy Tavarone, Director of Long island Paint Nite operations, told the Press. “It’s two hours to have a mini-escape for the soul. Just some down time when you can be in the moment. We connect hearts and minds, not through just a screen but in real life! In such a busy world humans crave face to face connection.”
That Meetball Place is just one of an ever-growing number of venues throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties hosting “Sip and Paints” and “Paint Nites,” such as Tavarone’s. Testament to their ever-growing popularity is the lucrativeness for restaurants and businesses that hold them. Prior to running her Paint Nite business, Debbie Tavarone worked as a medical assistant for a gastroenterologist. She now says Paint Nite has proven more financially beneficial for herself, as well as the artists she employs.
Unlike most other sip-and-paint companies, Paint Nite doesn’t operate out of a storefront, but rather, their team of artists host events at bars and restaurants across Long Island on slow nights. Tavarone credited Paint Nite with nothing less than “saving the American bar,” explaining that there are substantial upticks in revenue on food and beverages at host venues on nights that are typically slower, such as Mondays and Tuesdays.
That Meetball Place event was no exception. Admittedly, chances are that now that I’ve been exposed to this venue and their menu, I too, will return—and my sisters and I most definitely helped out the venue, consuming a decent amount of wine, for starters.
We also sampled appetizers, ordering meatball sliders and an oversized hot pretzel. The wine unleashed our inner critics and let the paint, and laughter, flow. As the night moved on, quiet concentration turned to giddy chatter as patrons interacted with one another, shared tips, or complimented each other’s work. Some friendships were born, others deepened.
The room was quickly filled with positive energy, and the take-home token of such an experience is tangible. My painting rests of my fireplace mantel.
It may not be a Picasso, but it is mine.
Perfect for a fantastic time, regardless of the season, “Sip and Paints” and “Paint Nights” are taking place at restaurants, bars and art galleries all across Nassau and Suffolk counties. Here’s a list of Long Island Sip and Paint and Paint Night Venues:
416 S. Country Rd., Brookhaven. 631-803-8593. paintersrestaurant.com
Momos Sport Bar and Grill
350 Union Ave., Holbrook. 631-648-9669. momossportsbarandgrill.com
667 Montauk Hwy., Bayport. 631-482-1399. momossportsbarandgrill.com
That Meetball Place
54 W Main St., Patchogue. 631-569-5888. thatmeetballplaceli.com
206 Main St., Farmingdale. 516-586-8880. thatmeetballplaceli.com
674 Montauk Hwy., East Quogue. 631-996-4550. cucinaeastquogue.com
116 Division St., Patchogue. 631-687-2722. harborcrab.com
325 River Ave., Patchogue. 631-207-0370. dublindeck.com
Vintage Wine Bar (Wine Glass Events)
185 Main St., Farmingdale. 516-586-8833. vintagewinebarbistro.com
Off Key Tikki
31 Baker Pl., Patchogue. 631-475-1723. offkeytikki.com
L.I. Pour House
650 NY-112, Port Jefferson Station. 631-509-1914 lipourhouse.com
95 E Hoffman Ave, Lindenhurst. 631-226-9464. duffysalehouseli.com
345 Deer Park Ave., Babylon. 631-539-0816. lilyflanaganspub.com
23 NY-25A, Mt. Sinai. 631-509-4077. benchwarmerstavern.com
Flying Pig Café
825 NY-25A, Miller Place. 631-849-6060. facebook.com/theflyingpigcafe
1251 Deer Park Ave., North Babylon. 631-242-7575. applebees.com
725 Merrick Ave, Westbury. 516-222-8010. houlihans.com
716 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre. 516-594-9074. tgifridays.com
3535 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown. 516-796-1549. tgifridays.com
Smith Haven Mall, 328 Burr Ln., Lake Grove. 631-366-6289. tgifridays.com
Millers Ale House
4000 Middle Country Rd., Lake Grove. 631-738-6725. millersalehouse.com
Senix Creek Inn
50 Senix Ave., Center Moriches. 631-878-8788. senixcreekinn.com
Laurel Lake Vineyard
3165 Main Rd., Laurel. 631-298-1420. llwines.com
Long Island Vodka (North Fork)
2182 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow. 631-630-9322. Lispirits.com
1830 W. Main St., Riverhead. 631-369-2200. ihg.com
On The Border
Broadway Mall, 200 Broadway Mall, Hicksville. 516-342-7777. ontheborder.com
3720 NY-112, Coram, NY 631-732-1141. thebarandpubweb.com
579 Veterans Hwy., Hauppauge. 631-724-1778 paradisedinerli.com
East Islip Lanes
117 E. Main St., East Islip. 631-581-6200. eilanes.com
340 NY-25A, Mt Sinai. 631-743-9679. thenorthtap.com
927 Montauk Hwy. A, Oakdale. 631-472-4200.
Storefront sip and paint events on long lsland:
837 Franklin Ave., Garden City. 516-874-3500. musepaintbar.com
34 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck. 516-252-0515. musepaintbar.com
Paint the Town Studio
17 Green St., Ste. 6, Huntington. 631-683-5788. paintthetownstudio.com
Darlings & Divas
65 Merrick Rd., Amityville. 631-608-4710. darlingsanddivas.com
19 Main St., Sayville. 631-218-9797. minimonetsayville.com
65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon. 631-805-1892. artseastudios.com
The Painted Canvas
6278 Rte. 25A, #10, Wading River. 631-886-2444. thepaintedcanvas.org
61 W. Main Street, Bay Shore. 631-446-4777. pinotspalette.com
The Art Studio Wine Down Fridays
221 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre. 516-763-2050.
ClayNation Paint & Sip: Adult Night
31 Village Square, Glen Cove. 516-671-8788. claynationonline.com