By Kayla Lupoli-Nolan and Jim Lo
The first Walkabout Breakfast Crawl in Port Jefferson, planned for Saturday Mar. 24th has already sold out its 300 tickets last week.
“We sold out…in two days, and sold an additional 100 tickets in 12 hours,” Barbara Ransome, the director of operations for the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, said.
The crawl, set up by Ransome, is meant to bring business to the town during the winter months. Modeled after the Patchogue breakfast crawls, it will allow ticket owners to visit up to 14 different restaurants from 9:00 that morning until 12:00 that afternoon.
“We were looking to do a fundraiser for the arts and wanted to do something with the village but I wanted it to be family friendly,” Dave Rogers, the creator of the Patchogue breakfast crawl, said.
There are three different types of tickets: $20 gives you the option to select six restaurants to visit, $30 for nine and $40 for all 14 restaurants.
“This event is created to help support and give better exposure to the restaurant community, our primary objective is to bring activities and streetwalkers to the village during the off season,” Ransome said.
There will be no road closures during the event, allowing ticketed patrons to walk around town and the enjoy the crawl. Parking for the event is open to anyone, no meters will be present.
“Events like this cause excitement throughout the town and the streets are packed with visitors from all over,” Charlotte Hatzel, a worker at the Port Jefferson Ferry, said. “The parking spots will fill up quickly in the morning before the breakfast crawl even starts. Employees from all over town along with participants in the breakfast crawl will be circling for available spots.”
With the attention on Port Jefferson, brunch places in the surrounding towns are concerned.
“I worry this event will affect our business,” John Scalamandre, a barista in Soul Brew Coffee Shop and Eatery in St. James, said.
After the summer season, stores on Main Street close until Memorial Day comes back around. The remaining stores that stay open during the off season are staples for visitors who brace the winds and weather.
“For us, it’s a great way to drive business to our side of East Main Street, which is sometimes more difficult to bring business to,” Lisa Harris, owner of premium donut shop East Main & Main, said.
The crawl is expected to bring foot traffic to Port Jefferson at the end of the winter season and help people find the new places in anticipation of warmer weather.