Have you ever wanted to “found” something, like a Captain John Smith or George Washington?
Well you can’t. Land masses and future empires are pretty much all spoken for at the moment.
But you can help found a corner of Patchogue Village.
Specifically, the future home of the second floor of The Tap Room.
The owners of the popular bar and restaurant at 114 West Main Street are undertaking an expansion into the building’s upstairs. In doing so, they’re introducing a Founders Club. It’s a capital-raising endeavor designed to help fund the pricey expansion while establishing and maintaining a core group of supporters.
In exchange for contributions of $250 to $1,000, the Founders will be getting The Tap Room’s version of the royal treatment, which goes beyond just the capital F.
They’ll be getting their names engraved on plaques or bricks, private Founders’ parties with free food and drinks, and gift cards worth much more than the contributions, among other incentives.
“We could get capital through traditional sources,” explained Tap Room co-owner James Bonanno. “But the idea was, if we’re going to pay interest to the bank, why not do something fun and cool and give back to our best customers and friends? The people giving us the reason why we have to expand in the first place.”
Ideally, The Tap Room would raise $30,000 to $40,000 through the club, he said.
The Tap Room owners, who are simultaneously building a second location in Massapequa Park, expect the upstairs expansion to be completed by the year’s end, and The Tap Room in Nassau to open next month.
The expansion in Patchogue will consist mainly of a second bar and more dining space.
The money from the Founders Club would go toward the extras.
“We’d be able to put in some finishes that are typically more expensive,” Bonanno said. “Some brickwork, some more TVs, a floor-to-ceiling accordion door on the front to allow fresh air and light to come through. The little touches, but obviously there’s a larger expense to those.”
To give you a quick idea of what Bonanno and his partner, Dave Johnson, are offering: Founders who pledge $1,000 will receive a $2,000 gift card at the special, private opening night party on the second floor.
(Check out the Founders Club webpage for more information.)
Bonanno said the idea, in part, came from a restaurant owner in Chapel Hill, N.C., who undertook a similar effort.
‘It’s really the only way to form a definitive group, where we could do fun things for them, to connect with our best customers,” he said. “It could totally flop and no one might be interested, but at the end of the day, there’s really nothing lost on our end. If it’s a great success, great. If not, that’s totally fine.”