‘We’re not going anywhere’
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Additionally, two years ago, the restaurant opened its doors seven days a week, and started making home deliveries, two things it had never done before in its history. The changes have been successful — his most recent year-to-year profits were an increase over the previous year, he said.
In 2015, the New York Islanders will leave Nassau County to play their home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Immediately after the announcement, many suspected that the Islanders’ departure would be a major hit to Borrelli’s, which, located just across the street from the Nassau Coliseum, is a regular dining location for hockey fans before and after games. But Borrelli said he remains optimistic that a proposed scaled-down Coliseum will still draw large crowds to his eatery. “Nassau County needs an entertainment center,” he said. “If they keep the ice shows, keep the circuses, keep the concerts … anything you put in that building, I’ll feed off of,” he said.
Borrelli said he has not lowered prices in two-and-a-half years, nor has he reduced his staff, which could reach as high on 25 on busy weekend nights. Instead, he’s focused more on marketing towards larger groups, parties, and school and club sports teams.
The restaurant also added live music and karaoke to its weekend repertoire. “The good thing about Borrelli’s is we are affordable,” he said. “Our customers do have a choice to have a pizza and a salad at a moderate price, or come in and have steak and lobster and baked clams.
“We work with people’s budgets,” Borrelli added. “But we do need the support of our East Meadow residents.”
He added that the Twin Rinks Ice Center, expected to be completed in Eisenhower Park later this year, will not only help Borrelli’s, but the entire local business community. “I have a positive outlook,” he said. “I think things are getting stronger.”
Borrelli has been married to his wife Beth for 30 years, and the couple have three children — Kristen, 29, Jenna, 26 and Frank III, 19, who are all East Meadow High School graduates that have also worked at the restaurant throughout their lives.