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Pine Hollow Business Association Reforming and Meeting in January

A press release was sent out announcing, “Now that the final resting place of the Teddy Roosevelt statue has been completed on the corner of South Street and Berry Hill Road in Oyster Bay many residents and businesses in the Pine Hollow area have shown some great concerns and ideas pertaining as to what could be done to improve the appearance of this great hamlet of Oyster Bay.

“Several months ago some residents had looked into the idea of restarting an association called The Pine Hollow Businessmen Association which started in March of 1985. We have been already meeting at the Italian-American Club on a monthly basis,” said Lou Varrichio, a 40-year businessman in the Pine Hollow area. “We have found out that our concerns are common among each other. Concerns such as clean street, possible new sidewalks and nicely landscaped common areas.”

He added, “We are looking forward to hearing from those who wish to get involved - since this town is your town and we need everybody’s thoughts and ideas to accomplish what everybody sees every day.”

The next meeting will take place toward the end of January so everyone can enjoy the holidays. “For those who have any questions please feel free to call George Melillo at 922-2222 and we will be happy to help,” said Mr. Varrichio.

In a telephone interview George Melillo said there is great interest and support from business people in the Pine Hollow area. He said he sees the area along the route 106 roadway as being divided into three areas: East Norwich, Pine Hollow and Oyster Bay. “I feel East Norwich stops at the Vernon School; Pine Hollow goes from Stop & Shop to the Hess station; then the village stands alone,” he said.

“East Norwich,” he said “is doing very well with new stores and landscaping. Oyster Bay has not been doing as well with the closing of The Baykery about a month ago, and the closing of Snouder’s and the Tex-Mex restaurant the first week of December.” Pine Hollow stores are doing well which George Melillo credited to Foodtown moving up to Pine Hollow as leading to the demise of the town.

He said it is better for the Pine Hollow group to stay by themselves because of the issues they share in common. “We prefer it as we are the pathway into the town,” said Mr. Melillo. “It is better we stay by ourselves.”

He said, “East Norwich has all new landscaping in the common areas. Pine Hollow is the last of the strip malls. The area has been neglected. We are looking for clean streets.”

The streets on the west side of Pine Hollow road are black asphalt not concrete along parts of the road there are no sidewalks at all.  “Once we get up and running maybe we can make a parking area like the one in Cold Spring Harbor.

Mr. Melillo owns the Clam Bar in Pine Hollow. His new business, Oyster Rides, is a taxi company. He said, “People call and say, ‘take me to all the historic places in Oyster Bay. It’s all here, it’s not fabricated. We take them from the railroad station to Raynham Hall Museum, the Moore’s building where Teddy Roosevelt has his office, the Flower’s Oyster company; the railroad turntable; Jakobson Shipyard and we drop them off at Sagamore Hill. An hour later we bring them back to the train station or to a restaurant.” He said they have a brochure they give visitors.

Mr. Melillo said with the advent of the TR statue in the triangle park attention is being focused on the Pine Hollow area again. “Possibly with our organization we can do something. We have a small piece of the puzzle but a key piece. By next year we should have a Season’s Greetings sign in lights going across the street wishing people a happy holiday,” he said.

He said, “We are starting slowly, slowly listening a lot. We are interested from the area from the double yellow line to the sidewalk at the present time. We want everyone to get interested and help out. It’s very sad that when it snows no one plows the area. When the elderly walk to Stop & Shop their wagons get caught in the potholes. We want to make it better.”

He has been working with Lou Varrichio of Varrichio Plumbing and Dave Webber of Collision Unlimited.