In Manhasset, NY, a revival of the ailing nightlife is working to capitalize on an identity as ‘the nightlife vortex’

From Lucky Whitehorse to Coheed and Cambria, Grammy-nominated bands have nested near Manhasset for decades, but town officials are working to make it easier for outsiders to get there.

The Middlesex-Suffolk County Chamber of Commerce is working to sign up media outlets for a new program to promote a visitors’ bureau in Manhasset. Mayor Peter Schmitt is hoping to spark interest with a marketing blitz that focuses on a specific music history in the area. That includes a display of vintage ads for Mud-Lords and plenty of old, gas-guzzling cars, which the village once prospered by supplying cars for upstate New York’s booming ski industry.

Other upcoming campaigns are focusing on Manhasset’s wealth of shops and restaurants.

The town was home to an early American newspaper known as The Manhasset Daily News, The Village Voice and ABC Radio News. The newspaper’s logo still graces a sign outside its former building.

Manhasset now needs to capitalize on its heritage. In 1969, the other New York City suburbs were awash in new businesses and the excitement of a nightlife that used to die down by 4 a.m.

Manhasset’s world famous “nightlife vortex” stopped shutting down a decade ago, and local officials have embraced its comeback.

But plans to open night spots run by a notorious hipster promoter led to a brouhaha that soured the party image the village has sought to reestablish.

The attempt to mix the two worlds may be part of what the chamber is working to accomplish, said Michael Recchia, its president. Recchia has been working with Schmitt to develop ways to bring a consistent marketing effort to Manhasset.

“When you’re in Manhasset … it’s a different world and you have to have that know-how,” Recchia said. “This is really about brand.”

For Manhasset’s part, officials are simply aiming to get more visitors, not take away businesses.

Clyde Cales, a senior police official for the village, said he hoped the plan would highlight a “stepping stone” for visitors from all over the country to look at homes, restaurants and shops they may not otherwise consider.

“Not only can we talk about our history, but we can open up our eyes to new things,” Cales said.

Cales said there are more than 180 miles of beaches and waters in town, but he also wanted to highlight a new European restaurant that Cales said offers specialty foods.

“Now we’re running through a similar landscape, so why don’t we create a buzz about it?” Cales said.

Restaurateur James Verdone, who opened in September a Cribburn’s branch in town, said the new marketing campaign could help with potential new tenants. The interior may have been modeled on Wild West restaurants, but the chef and owners see the attraction to Manhasset.

“We like to think of this as being more sophisticated than, ‘They’re going to want that American icon’,” Verdone said. “That’s not who our people are.”

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