Nashville inspired lounge brings country to the forefront of Patchogue

By Amy Nicole Tangel

Daisy’s Nashville Lounge opened in the Village of Patchogue, N.Y., a few short days before the world as we knew it went on pause, and they, like many other restaurants, shut their doors temporarily. Now they are back in the saddle, and the new country-themed lounge is working to make its mark.

From the menu, to the staff and live music, co-owner Brian Adams, is putting his heart and soul into giving his patrons a true Nashville experience when they visit.  Although Brian, alongside co-owner and long-time fellow restauranteur, Tim McCarthy of McCarthy’s Pub in Centereach, N.Y., opened the lounge on March 12, 2020 to an abrupt setback due to COVID, the resilient establishment has seemingly become a welcomed addition; filling a gap in the market for country lovers across Long Island.    

Brian, a New York native who was born in Yonkers and grew up in Smithtown, has worked in the industry with Tim dating back over two decades, starting when Brian worked for Tim’s father at their family-owned pub early in his career.  Since then, he spent the last 20 years living in Arizona and working in the industry opening and managing restaurants most notably, alongside retired Phoenix Suns player and restaurant owner, Dan Majerle.  When the time came for Brian to make a major life change, he moved back to New York to be closer to his family and he began looking for the right opportunity to plant his roots and partnered with Tim for the venture.  With a career and expertise in opening restaurants and handling their management, Brian said he thought about places he loved to go, and they decided to open a place where friends are able to hang out, relax, dine and listen to country music. 

“We said, ‘What doesn’t Patchogue have?’ and we both love country music.  When I grew up, my dad listened to the old country music,” he said.

When you walk into Daisy’s you can expect to hear a wide range of country and country-rock from yesterday and today providing a little something for everyone who enjoys country music.  In the front window of Daisy’s to the left sits a small showcase stage for band’s to play just like they do on Broadway in Nashville, and more space in the V.I.P. area and in the center where stages can be set. 

Brian is country fan himself with favorites like Travis Tritt and Randy Travis, and is lining-up live entertainment to the best of his ability with social distancing limitations, but he said he is excited to have a constant flow of demos coming in and is looking forward to supporting New York’s own country musicians like, Massapequa native and emerging country artist, Carolyn Miller. 

Although live music will be a staple at Daisy’s, Brian said line dancing will not be permitted due to the lack of space. For line dancers and country music fans alike, Brian and Tim have created a welcoming place for country music lovers to flock, filled with artistry like no other place for miles around.  With the potential to become a destination spot, Brian has worked piece by piece filling the lounge with pictures and paintings of country music legends specifically created just for Daisy’s and is still in the process of adding more décor to the honky-tonk theme.  On the back wall of the V.I.P lounge hangs an eye-catching original, framed picture of Chris Stapleton made out of guitar picks, designed by artist, Amy Reader of Tennessee, who Brian said is currently working on another framed picture of Carrie Underwood for another wall, as well. 

To the right of the bar is displayed a mural of Johnny Cash, painted graffiti-style on a brick wall that visually captures the essence of “The Man in Black,” by New York-based artist, Dean Goelz. 

Daisy’s also has a section in the works with final touches being made for an Instagram photo wall made-up of a backdrop of yet another original painting, this one, of a carnival poster with a girl on a horse made by Long Island artist Chelsea Carol from Painted Treasures by Chelsea, which will be complimented by a saddle on a log for people to sit on to take pictures once complete.  With creative touches being made daily, Daisy’s is seemingly a place to find something new every time you walk in the door.

“We want it to be a fun place where you can take your kids out to eat during the day,” he said.

Even when the doors were shut, Brian said they were at the restaurant daily working on fine touches, and they continue to do so today as they work on finalizing their southern-inspired menu.  Fried chicken, wings and pulled pork are staples at Daisy’s no matter what, and with an open floorplan, the tables are comfortably spaced apart to ensure safe social distancing. 

While trying to move forward in a safe and enjoyable manner, Daisy’s now has additional outdoor dining every Sunday for guests starting at 12 p.m. as part of the Village’s “Sundays in the Street” weekly closure of Main Street providing local restaurants and diners additional safe dining options throughout the pandemic. 

As for live entertainment, this Saturday evening select members of Long Island’s own country band, SouthBound will be playing live from 6 to 9 p.m., but you must remain seated and dine while you enjoy the music.  What ties everything all together for the whole experience is the staff, and Brian said although they lost some people due to the pandemic, they could not be more pleased with the group of team-oriented people working at Daisy’s now.

“This staff is good.  They are ambitious, friendly and happy.  We are very happy with the staff,” he said.

Daisy’s Nashville Lounge is located at 22 West Main Street and is open for dining Tuesday through Sunday.  For more information, visit www.daisysli.com or you can find them on Facebook and Instagram @daisys.li.

Owners pictured left to right, Tim McCarthy and Brian Adams.

Photos courtesy of Brian Adams

One Song at a Time

By Amy Nicole Tangel

Musicians in Nashville are currently feeling the heavy impact of being shut down, once again, after a recent rise in COVID cases, and many are resorting to taking their tip buckets and guitars to social media to make a means to survive and feed their families, but for one singer who has built her career by opening her own doors, it is her time to shine.

Rising above difficult times is nothing new for Nashville musician, Allie Sealey, who in large part has built her career as an independent artist with the help of all the tools social media has to offer, but with the current pause to the live music scene, she is putting in overtime using those skills to continue to share her music online with fans and support the recent release of her new single, “Wherever I Go.”

Before Allie decided to take a leap of faith and dedicate her life to making music, she was living in Northern California where she was born and raised in the bay area outside of San Francisco and taking care of her grandfather.  She was his primary caregiver and he was her biggest fan.  He was her best friend and he listened to her sing day in and day out.  He kept encouraging her to make a go of it, but Allie said it was when her grandfather passed away when she finally found the courage.  The painful feeling of grief was so traumatizing and devastating to her she said it made the fear of making a full go of her music career just disappear. 

“I only want to play music all the time.  That’s it.  I literally wake up for it,” she said.

Since that time, Allie has moved to Nashville and released two albums, ‘Best Friend’ and her most recent, ‘Long Road.’  In the midst of her drive to make things happen these past few years, she also regularly auditioned for The Voice, and said it was on pure principle to keep going back to prove to herself she could do it and vowed to herself she was not giving up.  Allie said although she didn’t get the glory like some people at the end of the day, she did get a call-back in Nashville with an on-camera interview and couldn’t have been more proud to have received a red card amongst thousands of other people.  

“I went there just to prove a point that I am not a quitter.  I will keep showing up; you will keep seeing my face,” she said.

Live streaming is nothing new to Allie, who has been maximizing her social media tools long before she moved to Nashville.  The day Allie decided she wanted to make a life of music, she picked up a guitar, learned how to play and hit the street making her own stage.  She said she didn’t care if anybody gave her a penny, she just wanted to sing and wasn’t going to wait for opportunity to knock on her door; she was going to open it herself.  From performing up and down Broadway in Nashville, to now singing to her fans from home, Allie is once again creating her own path by maximizing Facebook, Instagram and iTunes to stay connected, share her music and continue to build her career.

“Mostly, I have really been hustling the Facebook platform,” she said.

Although Allie said she has always had a hard time labeling herself in any specific genre as she loves music across the board, her heart is with country.  She said she was taught early on in the music business that you have to make your own yeses and you can’t rely on one thing to make your way.  Allie believes when there is a will there’s a way, and she said she is seeing now in light of the times how businesses are realizing how technology can be used to their advantage.  She is grateful now, more than ever, that she developed these skills long ago.

Last month, Allie had a milestone day in her life and her career when she turned 30-years-old on June 30, and her new song, a tribute to her grandfather, “Wherever I Go” was released from her second album making the charts on iTunes the very first day.  In a moment of celebration during her birthday week, she decided to lighten things up and get out of the house, so she took a drive to Kentucky to sing with a Kid Rock tribute artist at an outside event.  When the video of the performance made it on Instagram and Facebook, she said people thought she was really singing with Kid Rock, and although she enjoyed the humor of it, she said if ever given the opportunity she would love to sing with the real Kid Rock someday.

Most recently, Country Rebel, a clothing line and online news source for all things country music featured Allie’s new cover song of Wynonna Judd’s, “No One Else on Earth,” on their Facebook page earning over 82,000 views to date and rising for her video.  With a growing fanbase and commitment to what she loves, one by one, Allie is taking every opportunity as a blessing that comes her way to share the songs she sings with the world anyway she knows how.   Through it all,  she is making the most of the situation and is hoping the future holds opportunities to travel again with her music, but at the end of the day she simply just wants to make music every single day no matter where she is.

“I want to take this to a place where I am able to do what I love, which I do, you know, play music and writing songs to be able to live,” she said.

Allie Sealey’s music can be found on most streaming platforms such as Pandora, Spotify and you can purchase both albums in their entirety on iTunes. For additional information, you can visit www.alliesealey.com.  To keep up to date and to see Allie’s most recent live music videos you can follow her on Facebook.com/alliesealeymusic and Instagram @alliesealy.

Photos and video courtesy of Allie Sealey

Helping Feed the Families

By Amy Nicole Tangel

Even though school is out for summer and the doors have been closed long before, children across the country still depend on the daily meals provided to them so they don’t go hungry.  One inspiring man on Long Island has made it his life’s mission to help people in need to put food on their tables and make people smile.

Keith Caputo,39, has spent the past five years building his non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Helping Makes U Happy, alongside his mother, Cassy Caputo with the support of an entire community.  As Founder and Board member, the Center Moriches resident has worked tirelessly to help other people by successfully organizing and producing countless fundraisers, events and drives to raise funds, food and items for those in need.  With the guidance of his dedicated and loving mother who has given him the tools to rise above his developmental disability, Keith has created an organization and brought people together in ways one may never even dream of in a lifetime.

Most recently, Helping Makes U Happy is preparing to kick-off its annual Feed the Families project to feed children and families throughout the summer, who are without the breakfast and lunches they receive for free or reduced during the school year.  With the help of local businesses and members of the community who donate to the cause, they are well on their way to begin feeding families on July 6, 2020.  From that day on, families will receive meals once a week, every Monday through September, but Keith and Cassy said there has been a big jump in numbers of families in need.

“It’s a big list this year,” he said.

Cassy said they usually have an average of 22 families and this year they have 38 families who will be receiving assistance who are referred to Helping Makes U Happy through support of the school district’s social worker, psychologist, the parent-child home program liaison and the liaison to the Poospatuck Reservation.  This year, Keith and Cassy said they were concerned about whether they would have enough volunteers to make this happen with everything going on, but the response from the community has exceeded their expectations.

Suffolk Federal has been a long-time supporter of Helping Makes U Happy, and Keith said he was amazed at their generosity this year.  With the current pandemic, the credit union was not able to host a food-drive they had planned this past April, to benefit the Feed the Families project’s upcoming initiative, so they did the next best thing, and donated a check for $3,000 to help Keith’s mission.  Longwood SEPTA, the Longwood School District Special Education PTA, is currently holding an ongoing virtual spin-it to win-it auction to raise funds for various organizations and this past Sunday, when they hosted a Helping Makes U Happy fundraising day. 

The event raised a whopping total of $13,000 for Helping Makes U Happy to not only buy food for the project, but to pay the rent for their building and utilities, and to also help provide approximately 250 backpacks Keith calls “comfort cases” with special items of comfort for children in Suffolk County removed from their homes due to neglect; leaving Keith and Cassy with a huge blessing to simply focus on feeding and supporting families with necessary items to live one week at a time.

“Thank God for the community, because they very generously always donate to our Feed the Families project,” she said.

Local farmers and food establishments alike have not let the current struggling economy stop them from helping out those in need as well.  Cassy said the Eastport Green Project, an organization focused on keeping Eastport, N.Y., green and looking beautiful, has offered to continue providing fresh vegetables this year as they have in years past.  Nettie’s Country Bakery in Center Moriches is providing fresh bread every week for the project, and Cassy said that is a huge savings for them and delicious for families, too. In addition, they are grateful to the people who raise chickens and give them eggs, but Cassy said those have been hard to come by so far.

One of the biggest hurdles preparing to feed the families this summer for Keith and Cassy has been being able to get the grocery shopping done.  They both are immune-compromised and have not been in a grocery store since this past March.  In years past, when there was a need for items and they did not have enough volunteers, they would simply go out and buy what they needed themselves, but this year it is not an option.  Thankfully, with the help of Mattituck High School Special Education teacher, Jennifer Cressy, Helping Makes U Happy is now utilizing a free virtual signup sheet to schedule and manage volunteer tasks through an app called, SignUp Genius.

Jennifer has been a special education teacher for the past 17 years, and she said she came to know of Keith through of the contributions he has made in the community individually and through Helping Makes U Happy.  She said she always read about the organization’s fundraising activities and wanted her family to become involved in the mission. 

With the upcoming project, Jennifer said Cassy reached out to her asking for help to come up with a new way to organize the drive, and together they decided on SignUp Genius.  According to Jennifer, the new sign-up program has been a hit and immediately they had volunteers signed up to not only shop for necessary items, but to sort and pack food as well as deliver to the local families in need.  While Jennifer is humble in her help, she credits Keith and Cassy for doing all of the work.

“Our community has benefited from Keith’s commitment to helping, and he always has a positive attitude.  Keith truly understands the joy in giving and is a role model for us all,” she said.

Keith said his favorite part of Helping Makes U Happy is talking to parents and kids, and the inspiration he leaves them with.  Keith said he loves to speak at schools, and to boy scouts and girl scouts to tell them about his non-profit.  Keith truly loves what he does, and he already has his sights set on his next vision to help raise funds this summer for Helping Makes U Happy with an upcoming, Summer Staycation Raffle.  Cassy said this raffle will offer items for people to use in their yards, their homes and with their families.  Beyond the summer, Keith was looking forward to celebrating his upcoming 40th birthday celebration-Casino Night- planned for November to benefit the organization, but he is now hoping that even if it cannot go on as planned, it will be rescheduled for 2021 when we can all come together again.  Of all the things Keith loves, most of all, Keith said he gives his heart and gratitude for everything to his mother.

“I am most grateful for my mother.  She is the best mother ever,” said Keith.

At the very end of the summer when the Feed the Families project comes to a close for the season, Helping Makes U Happy makes a symbolic donation of backpacks filled with supplies for every child in each family with their last food delivery; sending kids back to school a little more prepared and with a bit of extra happiness to start the new year.

Helping Makes U Happy is currently in need of eggs, and jelly, and could always use juice boxes and Chef Boyardee canned goods.  Boxes in good condition for delivery in safe and socially distanced practice to families are also needed at this time.  Check Helping Makes U Happy Facebook page for updates.  For more information or to contact to donate, please visit http://www.helpingmakesuhappy.org.