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Briana Bonfiglio

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Briana Bonfiglio is the Digital Editor of Long Island Press.

8 Places to Eat on Long Island With Heated Outdoor Dining

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Restaurant owners have relied on outdoor dining this year as they faced limited capacity restrictions inside their eateries. With the cold weather creeping in, many are worried about how business will be impacted. 

But there is a solution: heated outdoor seating. So get ready to dine al fresco this winter, and check out these restaurants with heated patios and outdoor fire pits.

2 Spring
Chow down on 2 Spring’s fresh fish, farm meat and locally sourced produce while you cozy up under the string lights illuminating their heated patio. Executive Chef Jesse Schenker serves up creative, modern American dishes you’ll want to try. 2 Spring St., Oyster Bay, 2springstreet.com.

Prime 1024
This upscale Italian steakhouse has a heated, cabana-style outdoor dining area that’s dressed up with as much care as its indoor counterpart. The restaurant has a full range of Italian cuisine from a raw bar to housemade pasta and pizza to several steak and chop cuts. 1024 Northern Blvd., Roslyn, prime1024.com.

Lucharitos
Enjoy Mexican bites by the fire at Lucharitos. The whole family can fit at one of their long, wooden picnic tables, and their fire pits warm up this fun, family-friendly outdoor space. 177 Main St., Center Moriches, lucharitos.com.

EGP Land & Sea
Now this outdoor dining arrangement is an experience in itself. EGP’s winter igloos provide an intimate setting for friends and family to gather by a fire and enjoy the restaurant’s American-style eats — from lobster mac ‘n’ cheese to their loaded “cure-all” burger. 2 Pettit Pl., Island Park, egplandandsea.com.

Amici
This Italian joint has greatly expanded its outdoor seating and just added a covered, heated patio and tent. Amici offers Italian favorites, as well as seasonal specials, such as soft bavarian pretzels, fall apple salad and butternut squash ravioli. 304 Route 25A, Mount Sinai, amicirestaurant.org.

Verona Ristorante
Classic Italian cuisine awaits at Verona. And though the weather is getting quite chilly, they won’t leave you out in the cold. In order to maintain social distancing through the winter, they constructed two new, heated outdoor dining areas to make you feel right at home. 1255 Melville Rd., Farmingdale, veronafarmingdale.com.

Bistro 44
Find comfort in a hearty soup and sandwich for lunch or one of Executive Chef Jose Morales’ meat or fish dishes for dinner. Either way, the food will fill you, and the patio heaters will warm you until you forget you were ever cold to begin with. 44 Main St., Northport, bistro44.net.

Nantuckets
Indulge in Nantuckets’ seafood, signature cocktails and homemade desserts under the warmth of the restaurant’s heated outdoor tent. Reservations are recommended for their lunch, dinner and weekend brunch seatings. 9 Traders Cove, Port Jefferson, nantucketsportjefferson.com.

For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink.

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Manhasset-based 3GALCreations Creates For a Cause

3 gal creations
Grace Panopoulos, left, Ava Panopoulos, and Lauren Kim, all 11, launched 3Galcreations in August.

Three Manhasset 11-year-olds have turned a fun hobby into a way to give back.

This summer, twins Grace and Ava Panopoulos and their friend Lauren Kim, all sixth graders at Shelter Rock Elementary School in Manhasset, discovered that they love DIY projects.

“The whole summer we were really doing nothing,” Ava says, “but then, we started making and tie-dyeing T-shirts and other things.”

Some of the girls’ friends loved their creations and wanted some of their own. That’s when an idea sparked in their heads: They would sell their handmade products — right now, beaded bracelets and mask chains — and donate proceeds to charities, such as Ronald McDonald House.

“We thought it would be a nice idea to help the kids who are suffering throughout this
pandemic,” Grace says, “especially when they have something like cancer.”

The girls have raised nearly $3,000 selling their creations and donated to four organizations so far: Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer, Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, Madison Holleran Foundation and Leashes of Valor. They’ll also be visiting Ronald McDonald House soon to deliver a donation.

“It makes us feel very good,” Kim says. “We try to raise money for them so they can have a better life.”

The friends launched their organization in mid-August and called it 3GALcreations — “GAL” standing for Grace, Ava and Lauren. They made Instagram and Facebook pages for the project and posted their items for sale. While they started out selling tie-dyed shirts, they quickly shifted their focus to beaded mask chains. Those were a big hit.

“This allows them to learn about, ‘How can I make an impact in this world, even if it’s small, and how big can it grow?’” Jeannie Kim, Lauren’s mother, says. “I think they are pretty shocked at how big it grew.”

Jeannie and the twins’ mother, Irene Panopoulos, oversee the finances of their philanthropic business and help reach out to organizations with good, relevant causes. 3GALcreations’ motto is “dream, innovate, empower,” and the moms want their daughters to create a variety of products and donate to different charities in the future.

“We want to spread the wealth as much as possible to various organizations,” Jeannie says, “until the girls then decide what their true passion becomes.”

Find 3GALcreations on Facebook and Instagram: @3galcreations.

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Nassau to Hold Veterans Winter Stand Down

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Nassau County’s Veterans Service Agency (VSA) will host its 32nd annual Veterans Winter Stand Down on Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Freeport Armory.

Each year, the event provides donations and services to veterans in need. This year, it will be a drive-by event with donations only. Veterans in need in services, such as counseling or assistance with employment and receiving benefits, can call the VSA at 516-572-6565.

“I’d like to thank my fellow veterans who made this happen,” said VSA Director Ralph Esposito. “Without them, we’re nothing. These are the guys that come out, they’ll be here on the 24th helping our veterans.”

County Executive Laura Curran and County Legislator Debra Mulé announced during a news conference in front of the Armory on Thursday that the stand down would take place in a modified version this year. 

Volunteers, many of them veterans themselves, will place donation bags directly in veterans’ cars that drive up to the Armory. Bags will contain winter jackets, clothes, boots and non-perishable foods, as well as a holiday turkey. Veterans without a vehicle can walk to the front doors of the Armory to receive a donation bag. All must wear masks.

“Normally during the stand down there would be a line down to the corner,” Mulé  said. “Inside there would be great numbers of vendors providing services to our well-deserving veterans. But things have to be different this year, so I’m so pleased to hear that we are doing it in a way that’s going to be safe and effective.”

There are 56,000 veterans in Nassau County, according to the VSA. Many are either disabled, homeless or struggling financially, especially as unemployment has surged during the pandemic.

For more information about the Winter Stand Down and the VSA, call 516-572-6565.

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Octagon-Shaped Home on Fire Island Asks $1.7M

Octagon, a contemporary waterfront home, is listed for sale at 95 W. Lighthouse Walk in Kismet, a hamlet on Fire Island.

Built in 1968, the cedar wood house has the beachy vibe you’d expect from a Fire Island getaway home, and the interior is light and airy, with mostly white walls.

The home may have a few extra pointy edges, but the interior is all the better for it. A large, open-concept living area in the octagonal portion of the house features a high-top island and kitchen space, large fireplace and plenty of room for seating and shelving. Atop is a wooden-style ceiling and ceiling fan tying it all together.

Octagon has three units — the main house in the upper level and an art studio and separate apartment in the lower level. 

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a dining room and gourmet eat-in kitchen comprise the upstairs main house. The master bedroom has its own master bath with a large bathtub and separate shower stall. Some bedrooms also have wooden-style ceilings.

The ground floor’s art studio comes equipped with a full bathroom and service center. Also in the lower level, there is a separate 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment with its own eat-in kitchen. All rooms have plenty of living space, according to the listing.

Surrounding all of this is two levels of outdoor decking with room for seating and 180-degree views of the ocean from the deck — and inside, from the windows. 

The asking price is $1,775,000, not including the annual property tax of $7,900.

The real estate listed for the property is Irene Rallis, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who can be reached at 516-883-5200.

For more real estate news, visit longislandpress.com/category/real-estate.

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Online COVID-19 Testing Service GoTestMeNow Debuts

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As the United States faces a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the healthcare industry is getting savvier about conducting COVID-19 tests and delivering test results.

On Long Island, Enzo Biochem, affiliated with the Farmingdale-based Enzo Clinical Labs, has launched an online platform that aids individuals in the process of requesting a test. Rather than visiting a clinic and filling out paperwork to get authorized for testing, Enzo’s new GoTestMeNow website allows people to do all the legwork online prior to going in for the actual test.

Barry Weiner, president of Enzo, said that needing to visit a doctor’s office to be approved for testing has become a barrier for many, “keeping thousands of people from getting tested each week.”

“Enzo’s GoTestMeNow platform enables people to access testing more easily and faster,” Weiner said, “with the oversight of a licensed physician but without the need to visit the doctor’s office.”

Individuals can request a test at gotestmenow.com. Then, they can follow the step-by-step process laid out on the website. A licensed physician will review the information and authorize the test.

All information, including insurance and payment, will be taken care of through the site. Then, the patient can visit one of Enzo’s lab locations to receive the test. Their results will be available through a secure, online portal. There are currently no wait times, and the service also offers COVID-19 antibody testing.

There are about a dozen testing sites linked to Enzo’s GoTestMeNow platform throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, including in:

  • Rockville Centre
  • Massapequa
  • Westbury
  • Farmingdale
  • Plainview
  • Deer Park
  • Bay Shore
  • Coram
  • Patchogue
  • Smithtown
  • Holbrook
  • Ridge

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise on Long Island and across the country in recent weeks. On Monday, Long Island’s positivity rate was 3.5, meaning that out of all residents tested, 3.5 percent tested positive for the virus, according to New York State data.

Last week, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone urged anyone who thinks they could have been exposed to COVID-19 to get tested.

“Getting tested is the most effective way that we can track this virus,” he said, “because if you get tested and you are positive, we can isolate people, we can quarantine people who need to be quarantined so that we can stop the virus.”

In addition to COVID-19 testing, Enzo plans to add tests for other illnesses, such as sexually transmitted diseases, to the online platform.

To learn more about Enzo’s COVID-19 testing services, visit enzoclinicallabs.com/gotestmenow.

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Historic Long Beach Mini-Mansion Asks $1.7M

mini mansion
This mini mansion is listed for sale in Long Beach.

An early 20th century mini-mansion is listed for sale on the corner of Magnolia Boulevard and W. Penn Street — at 159 Magnolia Blvd. — in Long Beach.

Built in 1908, the terracotta brick home recently had its orange, terracotta roof restored. The property is just two blocks away from the Long Beach boardwalk and close to the city’s most popular destinations, including restaurants and parks.

The home’s “majesty of old world charm,” as the listing states, comes from its stunning details: hardwood floors, rich, dark wood kitchen cabinets, high ceilings and elegant moldings. Another lovely touch: a yellow-and-orange, stained-glass skylight accents the second-floor above the staircase.

One can’t help but feel this home was made for hosting. The large kitchen has ample counter space, including an island with two high top seats and all granite and marble countertops. Plus, the Liebherr refrigerator has its own water filtration system.

A wide corridor opens up to the dining room, which is naturally lit with a tall window. There are also several living spaces on the ground floor with plenty of room for seating and four fireplaces — all perfect for entertaining or just cozying up in the winter.

The house has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a half bathroom, including the master bathroom, two garage spaces and a 2,200 square-foot basement. Ocean views are visible from the master bedroom.

The asking price is $1,700,000, not including the annual property tax of $21,800.

The real estate agent listed for the property is Andrea Tafuri, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, and can be reached at 516-432-3400.

For more real estate news, visit longislandpress.com/category/real-estate.

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Justice Clothing Store Closes All 3 Long Island Locations

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Justice, the clothing and accessories store for pre-teen girls, has closed all three of its Long Island locations.

The Justice stores in Tanger Outlets Riverhead, Tanger Outlets Deer Park, and Lake Success Shopping Center in New Hyde Park all closed on Sunday, according to Justice employees.

More than 100 remaining Justice stores across the country, as well as Justice’s online store, will remain open through the holiday season. They will then close in early 2021, according to its parent company, Ascena Retail Group.

The closures come after Ascena, which also owns Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July. The company will continue to operate its other brands.

In September, Ascena announced it would close many of its Justice stores before the holidays, including all three Long Island locations. Last week, the company sold the Justice brand for $90 million to Justice Brand Holdings LLC, an entity of Bluestar Alliance LLC, which owns Hurley brands.

“The conclusion of the sale process for our Justice brand is a significant step forward in our efforts to complete our restructuring process and maximize value for all our stakeholders,” Ascena CEO Gary Muto said in a statement.

Several brick-and-mortar retailers have been forced to restructure as they face financial strains during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Century 21 and Lord & Taylor announced they would close all their stores, including their Long Island locations. Lord & Taylor had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the same day that Tailored Brands, owner of Men’s Wearhouse, did the same.

For more information about Ascena Retail Group’s restructuring, visit ascenaretail.com/restructuring.

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Foundation Surveys Pandemic’s Impact on Long Island’s Small Businesses

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The Rauch Foundation, a Long Island-based organization that invests in community growth, is conducting a survey for local entrepreneurs to learn how COVID-19 has impacted their business.

The survey aims to gather information and provide the foundation with a deeper understanding of what Long Island’s small businesses and downtown districts need to recover.

“It’s easy to guess what the impact of the pandemic might be on local small businesses,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation, “but until we hear from the business owners themselves, we can’t really know for sure. 

“As the region defines how to move forward,” she continued, “it’s important that our business community is included in the recovery process and that their experiences and hardships are taken into consideration.”

The survey is available online in English and Spanish through Nov. 30. It takes about five to 10 minutes and asks questions about how store owners were managing the changing retail environment before the pandemic, how COVID-19 restrictions have impacted their bottom line and what types of solutions they would support to move forward.

The Rauch Foundation has also hired canvassers to walk through downtowns and speak with business owners.

Kevin Law, president of Long Island Association and co-chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, noted that this survey is “the first one exclusively focused on our village communities — the heart of our region.”

“I strongly encourage local businesses to reply to the survey,” he added, “so we might better plan appropriate responses to current conditions.”

The Rauch Foundation previously published the Long Island Index, which consistently studied Long Island downtowns, for 15 years until 2019. With this initiative, they hope to reinvigorate this work by helping Long Island downtowns in this difficult time.

A full report and analysis of the survey results is expected in early 2021.

Business owners can access the survey at research.net/r/lidowntown.

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Virtual Support Groups Assist COVID-19 Survivors

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Health care workers, including mental health providers, are seeing COVID-19 patients exhibit symptoms even after they’ve beat the illness. In response, Paragon Management, which runs nursing and rehabilitation centers in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester, launched three virtual, post-COVID-19 support groups in June.

“The big [misconception] is that when you’re done with COVID, you’re done with it, and that’s not true,” said Lisa Penziner, a nurse and special projects manager at Paragon. “There’s lingering effects.”

Common side effects that survivors can face for weeks and months after fighting off the virus include brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, hair loss, and heart issues, Penziner said. 

The virus can also take mental and emotional tolls on people, and many suffer from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks — including those who came close to losing their lives to COVID-19. Along with Penziner, a psychologist joins each support group session to assist with mental health issues that the individuals may be facing.

“These people are afraid of getting sick again,” Penziner said. “They’re very angry to see people not wearing masks and not taking this seriously.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran urged coronavirus survivors to take advantage of the support groups during a news briefing on Thursday. She and Penziner, as well as two members of the support group who joined the briefing via Zoom, spoke about the benefits of joining the group.

“No matter what you are feeling post-diagnosis,” Curran said, “we want to reassure everyone that you are not alone and that there is support. There is a place for people who have overcome [the virus] but still are suffering to start a dialogue with others and get solutions.”

One of the two support group members, who is a nurse, said she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. Though she has recovered, she now deals with anxiety, hair loss and brain fog. She said that having people to talk to about her experience who understand gives her “a better peace of mind.”

Paragon offers three biweekly support groups for COVID-19 survivors. The meetings are held via Zoom and anyone can join regardless of where they live. The next session is Nov. 18. For more information, email lisa.penziner@paragonmanagementsnf.com or call 516-457-5585.

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Alex Trebek’s Widow, a Long Island Native, Thanks Fans for Support

Jeopardy television game show host Alex Trebek speaks on stage during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Jean Currivan Trebek, Alex Trebek’s widow, who is from Huntington, posted a “thank you” message to fans after the famous Canadian-American game show host died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday.

Alex hosted more than 7,000 episodes of Jeopardy! from 1984 up until last month, just two weeks before succumbing at the age of 80 to a years-long battle with the disease. Trebek passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends, the show said on Twitter.

“My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity,” Jean wrote on Instagram Wednesday. “Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much.”

Jeopardy! which requires contestants to display their knowledge of a broad range of trivia topics by providing their answers in the form of a question, has consistently drawn more than 20 million viewers a week in the United States and Canada, making it the most-watched quiz show in those markets.

Trebek won six Emmy Awards for outstanding game-show host, most recently in 2019, and also received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2011. The Hollywood Reporter said in a 2014 article that Trebek was earning $10 million a year.

Along with her message, Jean posted a photo of her and Alex on their wedding day in 1990. Jean was a businesswoman working in real estate projects, and the couple first met in 1988 at a party. They have two children together, Emily, 27, and Matthew, 30.

In a recent interview before his death with People magazine, Alex said his one regret was not meeting Jean sooner in life. 

“If I’d just met Jean in my 20s,” he told reporters, “we could have had a longer life together.”

-With Reuters

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