Two more restaurants at New Village
RIGHT: Joe Alagna signed a lease to open a new Arooga’s Grille House and Sports Bar at New Village. LEFT: Francesco, Ariana and Fabrizio Castelli in front of their newly rented space for Locale, their restaurant coming to New Village.

ADV/Leuzzi

Two more restaurants at New Village

Story By: LINDA LEUZZI
12/14/2015


Arooga’s Grille House and Sports Bar, a national franchise, is looking to make its flagship mark in New Village’s Building 5 at the Four Corners. The Castelli family, which owns Primo Piatto Gastro Bar and Pizzette on Huntington Village’s Main Street, wants to recreate their fine dining experience next to Arooga’s.

Both are leasing space in prime spots. Joe Alagna, owner at JAG LLC, is the franchisee principal at No. 1 West Main Street; Fabrizio Castelli and his children, Ariana, Francesco and Giuseppe, are the new owners at No. 15.

Tritec Chief Operating Officer Rob Loscalzo said Alagna plans to open 10 Arooga’s in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, but the Patchogue New Village space was selected as the best one to create their crown jewel; they’ll be renting 7,340 square feet. 

“We met with the franchisors, who founded Arooga’s; they loved the space and wanted to be a part of the project,” Loscalzo said. “They liked what we were doing and the quality of the development. They really wanted to interact with our residential portion here and also the village residents.  We’ve been working with them since July.”

Arooga’s already has a presence at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. The franchise was founded in July 2008 and currently operates 10 corporate locations in central Pennsylvania; there are 95 franchise locations either open or in development, Loscalzo said.
Alagna, a Sands Point resident, was at the Tritec space on Friday. “I’ve been on Wall Street for 27 years and always had a passion for the restaurant business,” he said.  “Someone mentioned Arooga’s and I followed them. They won America’s Next Top Restaurant Franchise in 2013 and Mohegan Sun Casino bought the rights to all 15 in New England.” 

Alagna is chief executive officer and a partner at Joseph Gunnar & Co., LLC on Broad Street in Manhattan. 

Alagna said Arooga’s has a family-restaurant-and-sports-grille theme that’s health conscious, with 100 television sets. “We have a 12-page menu,” he said. “Half the menu is gluten-free and antibiotic-free. We’re trying to hone the concept of using the best ingredients in our food, including 100 percent grass-fed Kobe beef.” Forty craft beers will also be on the menu.

Alagna said the search began about eight months ago. “We saw the articles about Patchogue,” he said. “A buddy of mine, a commercial fisherman, rents an apartment here in New Village and told me about Patchogue. It was important to us that the first one we opened was in an environment like this.” 

Construction documents are being drawn up now and Loscalzo said they hope to open in spring 2016.

Castelli with his daughter and sons were at their 3,200-square-foot space on Monday with Loscalzo.

“Fabrizio knows Patchogue very well,” Loscalzo said. “He had been following the development and told me he really wanted to be part of the project.”

In honor of the locals they hope to attract, the Castellis were naming their new Patchogue restaurant Locale.

“It will be similar to our Huntington restaurant,” Francesco Castelli said. “We still want the same classic feel and we will be serving artisan pizzettes and salumi, imported cured meats.”

“We like to offer things people are accustomed to,” Fabrizio Castelli added. “Basically, our restaurant is an extension of our home.”

“Everything fresh, with fresh tomato sauce,” said Ariana Castelli.  The décor will be urban rustic.

Fabrizio Castelli pointed out the restaurant business has been imbedded in their lives; they hail from Agrigento, Sicily. A brother still runs a restaurant there in Porto Empedocle.  “We’ve been in business since 1957 here, with places in Brooklyn and then on Long Island in the early 1970s,” he said.  There will be 18 seats at the bar, 100 for lunch and dinner. 

“I’d like to be open in time for Alive After Five®,” Castelli said with a smile.