House mates and New Village residents Brian Newham and Tim Morrow know about Patchogue’s parking issues.
They witness it right outside their windows.
“Friday, Saturday nights, we would have friends come over to our place, to meet up for a drink or something, and they would be driving in circles, 10, 15 minutes,” Morrow said.
“We’ll literally watch the same car drive around 12 times looking for a space,” added Newham.
Newham would also often walk by the empty lot behind Bargain Bilge on West Main Street, right next door to New Village, wondering why the open space wasn’t used or parking.
So he decided to do something about it.
Newham, a beverage supplier, and Morrow, a bartender and manager at his family’s Two Morrow’s pub on East Main Street, have teamed up with John Sarno, the owner of the Village Idiot Pub, and are now leasing the lot for private parking.
They first utilized it during the last Alive After Five, which also happened to shatter attendance records with an estimated 25,000 people showing up.
“It’s perfect timing if you ask me,” said Sarno, who jumped at the opportunity to help. “We’ve got more and more bars and restaurants coming to the village, as many as 8 or 10 in the next months or years, and trying to find parking is already tough.”
Morrow said the lot, located at 70 Lake Street, was filled to capacity as early as 6:30 p.m. during the July 21 Alive After Five.
They will be opening the lot again, at a rate of $15 per car, starting at 4 p.m. at both Alive After Five events in August until they can get village approvals to operate a business there full-time.
The partners envision opening the lot each weekend — from Thursday to Saturday nights moving forward —with plans already in place to start accepting credit cards.
The lot can fit about 150 cars, Newham said.
The rate would be $10 on weekend and $15 during special events like parades. Drivers park their own cars. The lot attendants are only there to oversee the operation.
Another bonus, for this summer at least, is that people can leave their cars overnight.
“Right now overnight parking is fine,” Newham said. “There is no fee and your’e not locked in and you don’t have to worry about getting tickets,” unlike in the public parking lots.
“I know this is filling a need for the village,” he added.