Two Lynbrook businessmen were recognized recently by the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce for their contributions to the village.
Kyung Wan Ryu, the owner of Ryu’s Martial Arts, at 309 Sunrise Highway, and Joseph Carusone, the owner of Vincent’s Pizza, at 14 Atlantic Ave., were each honored at a breakfast Oct. 29.
Ryu, a native of Gimje, South Korea, has taught tae kwon do to students of all ages in Lynbrook for almost 22 years and is a grandmaster and seventh-degree black belt in the martial art and a fourth-degree black belt in kumdo.
“Grandmaster Ryu was very honored for the chamber to recognize his contributions to Lynbrook over the past 22 years,” his wife, Kim Ryu, said on his behalf, because English is his second language.
Ryu’s opened in the village in October 1999, and before that, Ryu ran a tae kwon do school in Lynbrook until 1997, which was the first such school in the village.
In addition to teaching students respect, perseverance, humility, self-control and honesty, Ryu has also been active in the community in other ways. His business sponsors a Lynbrook Little League team each year, donates memberships for school fundraisers and gives free lessons to Boy and Girl Scout members. Additionally, Ryu’s students march in the village’s Memorial Day parade each May.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Ryu’s had to close, but the staff prepared curriculum videos and posted them on a closed Facebook group for reference so members could stay active from home. The business then began offering Zoom classes, with instructors teaching students from their homes.
“It was difficult to keep the kids motivated for the entire three months while we were closed, but we did pretty well,” Kim said. “We were very happy to be back in person in July, even though we had very limited classes due to social distancing.”
Carusone’s business has been a part of the Lynbrook community since 1978, and he is a second-generation owner. The eatery offers pizza and Italian food, and the Carusone family is also active in the community as part of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce, which includes donating food for events and to those in need, hosting outings and helping others.
Carusone’s family has been a stalwart of Lynbrook for decades. His father, grandfather and uncle opened up Jack’s Pizzeria in downtown Lynbrook in 1962, and his father later established Vincent’s Pizza in 1972.
After going through the Lynbrook public school system, Carusone attended La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale and earned a degree in marketing and business management from St. John’s University before eventually taking over Vincent’s. He and his wife, Nicole, opened a Carvel in Lynbrook in 2003. They have two children, Joseph and Luca.
Carusone could not be reached for comment at press time, but when he was an honoree at the Lynbrook Mayor’s Golf Outing in 2017, he spoke about how much the village meant to him.
“I’m very happy with being in Lynbrook and being one of the restaurateurs,” he said at the time. “I’m very honored to be a person that is involved in the community for so many years.”
Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce President Cory Hirsch said he was grateful to be a part of the event after the pandemic canceled it last year, and lauded both honorees.