Hard-Hit Restaurants Continue to Fight for their Survival and More Stories On Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  — On this episode of the OnSI podcast… Local restaurants continue to struggle as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. How the winter months present new challenges to overcome.

“You know, it seems like as soon as we were done summerizing, the winter came. And then we had to do a 180 and figure out on how to winterize, and that required another 200 amps of electric service added, and a lot more costs. Nothing you really anticipate when you operate 100-percent indoors,” said Mike Regan, the Owner of O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Port Richmond.

Also this month, Staten Island’s religious community is doing its best to stay connected to the faithful during the pandemic. After months of being forced to stay apart, why even the most traditional spiritual leaders are warming up to and leaning heavily on technology.

“In the end, the only open door was the virtual one,” said Father Jack Soler, Pastor of St. Clement and St. Michael in Mariners Harbor.

Plus, a tree grows on Staten Island—finding and sharing beauty in every corner of the borough.

“There is no other place like Staten Island,” said Director of Conference House Park John Kilcullen, who is using Instagram to feature then and now photographs that spotlight older homes and trees.

Finally, we are proud to introduce our new recurring series, “Local Hero of the Month,” a special look at our neighbors who are making a difference in the borough we all love.

“What I want listeners to understand is: Staten Island is a wonderful place, it’s a beautiful place. There’s a lot of nice things that go on. The community is great. And, sometimes, it gets a bad rap,” said Tom Crimmins, the Co-Chair of OnSI’s Board of Directors. “Sometimes, there’s a need to raise awareness for the good that goes on. Staten Island has a lot of heroes. And, I speak to them, I know them. Some people just aren’t given credit, or they’re modest. I’m excited about raising awareness for the good people out there.” 

This episode’s “Local Hero of the Month” is Michael Morrell, a person who has striven to improve the quality of life on the Island’s North Shore—namely, in the quiet, friendly neighborhood of Westerleigh. 

We are proud to announce that OnSI is now made possible with funding from Tom and Suzanne Crimmins, Owners of Tom Crimmins Realty, the Staten Island-based real estate firm that has made a name for itself for more than a decade as a local, independent, family-run business that knows the neighborhoods it serves.

Photo courtesy @Danny_Hults on Instagram.