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Villager Farmingdale hosts the grand opening, showcases its fusion tacos and artisanal menu

If craft drinks are your thing, Farmingdale’s latest downtown restaurant is the place for you.

“I am very interested in the craft experience: craft beer and craft cocktails,” said Jim Zeffiro, general manager of the new Villager Farmingdale. “For me, there is nothing more rewarding than sharing that experience with a guest. Do something for them and you can see their reaction.

“The vision I had here was to bring truly fine American gastropub food to an area that is already thriving and offer them sophisticated yet easy-going cocktails and a really well-curated beer list,” he continued. “We are a brewery that offers excellent cocktails.”

The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, local business owners and elected officials welcomed The Villager Farmingdale and Zeffiro to the community on Friday with a grand ribbon-cutting opening ceremony.

Fans of the venue’s sister restaurant, The Villager in Babylon, will be happy to know that some of the staple dishes on that menu can be found at Farmingdale’s.

“We have favorites, like our claim to fame, the homemade french fries with our beer cheese,” said Zeffiro. “We make it fresh every single day. We have to because we go through gallons of cheese. We also have the Big Mic burger, which is our nod to “Coming To America”, and our Villager burger. Those three are our cornerstones.

In addition to these highlights, The Villager Farmingdale chef William Ahearn charted his course.

“I don’t want to put out the same burgers that all the other bars do,” he said. “Everything we do takes a turn. Everything we produce [is] from scratch.”

Ahearn said all four of his tacos, ahi tuna, carne asada and chicken and shrimp, sold like wildfire.

“Our carne asada tacos have a margarita aioli, like the real salty margarita drink,” Ahearn said. “We make a fusion shrimp taco which is a bit like a green dragon roll and our tajin chicken tacos have a fresh guava barbecue [sauce] and fresh mango “.

Other unique finds on the menu include the Korean fried chicken sandwich with bibb lettuce, Korean barbecue, vinegar salad, kimchi aioli on top of a sesame bun, and the drunken fried chicken sandwich, which boasts parmesan-crusted fried chicken, salsa of vodka, burrata, ham, pesto emulsion and rocket leaves served on garlic ciabatta.

Harness the potential

For Zeffiro, the request to lead the sixth restaurant of a group that includes his sister Villager in Babylon was an appreciated recognition. She has worked as a bar at The Local, another restaurant in the family, since she opened at Babylon in 2017.

“They told me ‘You are the face’,” he said he was invited to direct The Villager Farmingdale earlier this year. “That’s what they do, they grab someone who’s been busy. Virtually all of the other managing partners started somewhere and moved on with it. ”

In Farmingdale, Zeffiro was able to renovate the space previously occupied by Farmingdale Brew Co. Perhaps the biggest improvement on the downtown facility is the new outdoor patio, complete with an outdoor bar, plenty of seating and space for bands of five. items for performing on weekends.

“It was a slow process for me because I had to get rid of the weeds,” Zeffiro said of the renovation. “When we got back here, it was a disaster: rotting tables and broken folding chairs. But there was so much potential. ”

He has also reorganized the indoor bar to handle the crowds that he expects to flock from Main Street.

“It’s like looking at a field that hasn’t been plowed yet,” he said. “You’re starting to plant crops, you’re starting to see them blossom and grow.”

While the weather remains warm, bands will perform outdoors at The Villager Farmingdale every weekend, Zeffiro said. Every Wednesday, on the patio or indoors, the bar hosts acoustic artists.

Since opening on June 10, Farmingdale’s new artisan bar has hosted numerous events, including an oyster feast and a pork roast. Zeffiro is already looking to do more in the bustling city center. He is teaming up with Flux Coffee to deliver an aged coffee-infused Manhattan, joining forces with Jim’s Stogies to host a cigar dinner on October 6 and throwing a Halloween party on October 29.

“I think the most important part of joining a community at this level is not just saying ‘Hey, we’re here’, but saying ‘Hey, we’re here to help,'” said Zeffiro. “We are here to improve this area and bring even more business.”

Above: Jim Zeffiro and chef William Ahearn behind the bar at Villager Farmingdale.