George Strifas' Colony Diner is less than two miles from the Nassau Coliseum, once the center of the hockey universe.
Though the Isles are nearly three decades removed from their Stanley Cup winning years, the team still generates revenue for area businesses.
Patch spoke to Strifas about the $400 million bond referendum scheduled for Aug. 1, and the importance of keeping the Islanders on Long Island.
Patch: What does an Islanders game night mean to your diner?
Strifas: Before the game, we generally bring in 150 people or so. I can tell because most of them are wearing jerseys. Financially, many Islanders games are worth up to $1,000 before a game and $500 after a game. It's about half of that on a Tuesday night.
Patch: Why else do you support the new arena?
Strifas: It's about much more than just the Islanders, though this will help them put a good product on the ice. A new arena means more concerts and more activities in the area. It's a quality issue.
Patch: But homeowners in Nassau County are already paying high property taxes, and some have voiced a concern that they can't afford to pay more.
Strifas: I live here. As a resident, I pay a lot in property taxes. But it's a 30-year bond, which will cost every homeowner about $40 per year. Come on man. I went to Carvel the other night and it cost us $18.
Patch: What happens if the voters reject the bond?
Strifas: Forget me. Every eatery in the area will take a hit. We would have a few less servers. For the servers on staff, it would probably come out to be 3-to-4 percent less in yearly income because of fewer tips. It could mean a $100,000 swing for our business, but that's not the concern. Just think about the servers and our vendors. They're the ones who will feel it.