With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, romantic partners across the North Shore will be celebrating with their loved ones and some may find their way into downtown Sea Cliff. In doing so they will probably pass by or go into Still Partners or K. DiResta Collective, two businesses that have become pillars of the area. The former is one of the most popular restaurants and music venues in the village and the latter displays some of the best jewelry and artwork that can be found on the North Shore.
The businesses’ importance in the community is apparent, but what isn’t quite as obvious is that they are owned by a married couple — Dan Roth, 51, and Kathleen DiResta, 48. As the owners of two of Sea Cliff’s most well-known establishments, they are constantly busy serving the community, but their relationship remains as strong as ever.
Roth and DiResta met while majoring in the arts program at SUNY New Paltz in the early 1990s. When Roth first met DiResta through some mutual friends at a party, he said he liked her right away. DiResta said her first impression of Roth was that he was a “very cool, down-to-earth kind of guy.”
They remained friends for the next couple of years, even when Roth went to study at an intensive one-year music program in Southern California in 1992. They kept in touch mostly by writing letters. The two met again in March 1993 after Roth had moved back to Long Island. Visiting a friend in New Paltz, he ran into DiResta, who was still in college. They began dating on March 10, 1993.
“We were always friends, and when we ran into each other again, it was an easy connection,” DiResta recalled. “We picked up like no time had passed. It was a very comfortable transition.”
After graduating from college in 1994 DiResta moved to Manhattan. The couple continued dating with Roth living in Manhasset. DiResta opened a store in the East Village with her brother Jimmy in 1999 callling it DiResta Gallery, where they sold jewelry, photography and art. Roth worked as a graphic designer during this period, but always kept his passion for music in his back pocket by playing drums in bands.
After they were engaged, the couple moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. They married on Aug. 28, 1999. Two years later, they considered moving to Sea Cliff, thanks to a friend who lived in the village. DiResta said she was enchanted by the village and that she loved the art-centric energy it projected, which reminded her of upstate New York.
Although the two didn’t know anyone in Sea Cliff when they moved there in 2001 since their friend had moved away, they were quickly able to make friends. Roth joined a local band as its drummer, which helped the couple meet others who are interested in the arts. And their social circle grew further after their son Dylan was born in 2005.
DiResta closed her Manhattan store in 2003. Two years later she rented a studio in Glen Head calling it Studio 54 to sell her jewelry. It closed in 2012. During this time she was also a frequent seller at local craft shows. When she became a part of the Sea Cliff Arts Council in 2008 it helped her build up a consistent base of clients.
A space at 212 Sea Cliff Ave. became available in 2012, which DiResta said she knew would be a perfect place to showcase her jewelry and other people’s artwork. And thus, K. DiResta Collective was born.
One year later, Roth and his friend Ray Capone opened Still Partners, almost directly across the street from his wife’s gallery. He said they were looking for a space that would be a great venue for music, something he had wanted for a long time. Since then, the two owners have turned the place into a hub of Sea Cliff’s musical culture, and the close proximity to DiResta’s business is a great added bonus.
DiResta and Roth both said that their businesses keep them very busy, but their passion for what they do and ability to work together has played a great part in the success of their 20-plus year marriage.
“We get along really well and I think we both have always focused on our own businesses and projects,” DiResta said, “and we both really respect each other and help each other in that way . . . Our love of music and art allows us to want to learn new things and try new things, so that helps too.”
Roth said their hard work and respect for one another helps them to keep any issues that may arise in perspective. “We’re both really busy people,” he said, “and neither of us sweats the small stuff.”
Staying active has been a key part of their relationship from day one, DiResta said, and if the last two decades are any indication, it’s working out very well for them.