Written by Chris Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 21 September 2013 00:00
Ask anyone in Massapequa where to go for great food and some good, clean, fun and nine times out of ten you’ll likely to hear, “The Good Life.”
According to co-owner Pete Mangouranes, The Good Life, located at 1039 Park Boulevard since May of 2010, is a great old-fashioned establishment to eat, drink, and be merry.
“It’s a great little local pub and restaurant...everyone’s just there having a good time,” he said. “It’s a great, low-key place with good food at the right price. And we use all local products, like Massapequa Perk for our coffee and the bakery across the street for our buns. That’s important to us...keeping things local.”
Mangouranes originally hails from Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended Northeastern University. He met fellow The Good Life co-owner Paul Oliva of Hicksville working at a bar while going to school, and the two quickly became friends.
After graduating, the two kept in touch and, after visiting Oliva in New York several times, Mangouranes said that they decided to go into business. Moving in together in Massapequa Park, the duo started looking for opportunities; Mangouranes first purchased an establishment in Northport called The Lark, which he soon sold when the chance to start The Good Life presented itself.
“I sold The Lark in 2008, and Paul and I started looking for a place in the Massapequa Park area,” he said. “We saw that Sidekicks on Park Boulevard was for sale, but by the time we spoke to the broker, he said it had already been sold. Fortunately for us, the two guys that bought it ran it into the ground within four to six months.”
Mangouranes and Oliva quickly swooped in and acquired Sidekicks, quickly giving it the 32,000 square foot establishment a budget-conscious make-over before re-christening it The Good Life.
“We hade a very limited budget, so whatever we could lipstick, for the most part we did,” he said. “We sanded everything, stained the floor, painted, built benches, reupholstered...it looks like we spent money, but we did everything ourselves except the plumbing and electrical.”
Since then, business had been great; Mangouranes attributes that to the assistance they and other local merchants receive from Massapequa Park’s local government.
“This village is great...they’re pro-business,” he said. “If you look down Park Boulevard, we have maybe, what? One store front closed? If you go to any other main street in Nassau County, you’ll find 10 or 15 closed. Massapequa Park does a good job of keeping it active, and we appreciate that as business owners and residents.”
It was this local business support that the village offers that prompted Mangouranes and Oliva to try their hand at another eatery; an upcoming breakfast and lunch diner called Jam, located at the site of the former Town Florist location at 1025 Park Boulevard, just down the block from The Good Life.
“We just thought, ‘what were we missing from The Good Life?’ We’re missing breakfast,” he said. “And I think that, the more we can add to this neighborhood...the more bars, restaurants, and shops that open here, the more people that will come and visit the village, and that’s better for everyone.”
Jam, slated to quietly open on October 1, will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving breakfast and lunch. Again, Mangouranes said that the establishment will be procuring it’s goods from the surrounding businesses, such as Massapequa Perk, and all food will be expertly prepared from scratch right on the premises.
“Everything on the menu will be country-style, fresh, natural, old-school breakfast,” he said.
Mangouranes said that he anticipates Jam will enjoy the same good fortune that has made The Good Life a popular hangout known throughout Long Island; the reason for his confidence, he said, is because of the people who have graciously supported their endeavors in the past.
“It just grows and grows, and I want to attribute our success to the people of the community...they’ve been so great,” he said. “We live in town, and we just built places that our friends would want to hang out in, and people are coming from all over Long Island to experience it. And that’s really cool.”