Angelo Crisci wants to bring the East End winery experience to Bay Shore’s Main Street.
“It’s all about creating the best experience,” said Angelo, who aims to open up at 17 East Main Street later this year. “That is what we are focused on.”
Angelo has become very familiar with the Long Island vineyard scene through his touring business First Glass Wine Tours, which he launched in 2013. He’s also dabbled in wine himself, launching a wine label called Fire Island Wines a year later.
After coordinating hundreds of trips to the North and South forks, Angelo said he quickly began to pick up on fan-favorite varietals people were gravitating towards.
“I felt we can offer a similar experience closer to home,” he told GreaterBayShore.
First thing was to bring in what people were sipping on from the East End.
While the focus will be on wines, Angelo will also be serving up beer and cider on his 14 tap lines.
“We’re going to have the opportunity for people to try different products from all over Long Island and around New York state,” said Angelo.
Inside the 2,400-foot-building, there will be seating for 75 people between its benches, tabletops and stool seating at the 25-foot bar. The space can also be reconfigured for special occasions and corporate parties.
For this project, Angelo is combining his two loves: Fire Island and his family.
“I spent my childhood at the Bay Shore Marina digging clams,” said the West Islip native. “Fire Island is in my blood.”
Fire Island Vines will be adorned with nautical pieces that pay homage to Angelo’s childhood, including a large acrylic image of the Fire Island Lighthouse that will be hanging inside.
Secondly, but more importantly to Angelo, Fire Island Vines will be a family-run business.
“I have a big family and we all love being hospitable,” said Angelo. “We’re used to having 50 people over our house for parties — we love hosting.”
Angelo will be running this venture with his wife, Tessie, and daughters, Paulina and Angelia, where, together, they will offer a “family-friendly” vibe.
“My wife and daughter are both school teachers and they had great ideas on how to make it more kid-friendly,” said Angelo. That includes possibly doing a cookie-making night or a book-reading event.
For food, Fire Island Vines’ kitchen plans to make flatbreads, thin-crust pizzas, and Bavarian pretzels. There will also be some Greek-influence hailing from Tessie, whose family is from Sparti, Greece.
“There will be a Greek-theme to the menu; things such as gyros, Greek salads, Greek fries,” explained Angelo.
And some of those ingredients will come directly from Tessie’s family farm in Greece. “We get our olive oils right from my mother-in-law’s farmland,” he said.
Whether it’s a group looking for tastings, someone stopping by for a bite to eat, or a reveler seeking live music, Fire Island Vines plans to serve a wide variety of patrons.
“Our main goal is to create a great experience for everyone to enjoy,” said Angelo.
FIV Cafe and Market
In addition to the wine bar, a 300-square-foot nook called FIV Cafe and Market is also in the making on the property.
While it will have its own entrance on Main Street, it can be accessed from inside the wine bar as well. There, the market will have self-serve coffee, snacks, soups and grab-and-go sandwiches.
“We’re looking to serve the people going to be living in the [soon-to-be-opened] apartments above us, as well as the ferry riders,” said Angelo.
Top: Fire Island Vines branded wines at the soon-to-be-opened wine bar at 17 East Main Street (credit: Instagram).