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Island Park businessman promotes character brunches in Jericho to provide entertainment amid virus

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With many residents stuck indoors and having to social distance during the coronavirus pandemic, an Island Park businessman has launched character brunches for children and families.

The Milleridge Inn in Jericho hosts weekend brunches throughout January, which includes various character themes for patrons to enjoy.

“We felt it’s a good way that we can offer something good and safe for families who are stuck at home,” said Butch Yamali, owner and president of the Milleridge Inn. “Every day we hear about schools closing or having to quarantine and people out there have no where to go. We want to make it safe and fun for children to have a bit of children time. There’s nothing to do and it’s cold outside, so extracurricular activities are canceled.”

Yamali, who owns Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park, started organizing the brunches in December and they feature characters from Paw Patrol, Barbie and others. To keep patrons safe, group times are spaced out, tables are placed six feet apart and have Plexiglas dividers and the number of attendees is limited to no more than 35 people at a time.

Seven seatings will be offered each Saturday and Sunday throughout January to ensure that guests are safe and in compliance with Covid-19 guidelines. Characters and staff also wear face masks and observe social distancing guidelines.

Brunch items include fresh fruit, danishes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, toast, yogurt, omelettes, French toast, cereal, fresh juices, coffee, tea and soft drinks.  All brunches are priced at $37.95 for adults and $27.95 for children between the ages of 2 and 12. Children under the age of 2 are free.

Yamali said his businesses have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and that he went from having 500 people at a time for catered events to 50, and from having six available party rooms to only being able to use one at a time. He said with many families struggling and unable to leave home, he thought the brunches were a good way for them to have fun amid the pandemic.

“It’s for everybody,” he said. “We’re happy that we can provide a safe place because a lot of people are struggling out there. It’s a place they can go and it’s safe, it’s fun and that’s the pleasure we get out of this, and it keeps people working and makes people happy. That’s really what our goal is.”

To make reservations or place an order,, call the Milleridge Inn at (516) 931-2201. For more details and to view pictures of the characters, visit milleridgeinn.com.