I know what you’re thinking: Where can I go on Long Island to celebrate Halloween if I don’t have kids? Better yet, where can I go if I’ve finally secured that hard-to-reach babysitter for the holiday? Fortunately, Long Island is home to some great restaurants that love Halloween as much as you do. So dress up, leave the kids at home, and get ready to party. These are some of our favorite Halloween-friendly haunts for those wishing to embrace the spirit.
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This unassuming purveyor of delicious Buffalo wings is a favorite of East End football fans. Plus, every year on Halloween weekend, this recently relocated brewery hosts a fantastic, rollicking, fun Halloween party. The brewery offers drink specials ($5 pumpkin beer, anyone?), a DJ, and a costume contest, with awards given at midnight. Residents take the contests very seriously, so be forewarned. You can expect bartenders and servers to arrive in full Halloween regalia—and you should, too. The party extends well into the night. Adults only. Cover is $10 at the door.
Southampton Publick House, 62 Jobs Lane, Southampton, (631) 283-2800.
2. Rowdy Hall
This year marks Rowdy Hall’s 18th annual Rowdyween. You’ll want to dress up, as the hosts will be giving away up to $500 in cash prizes for extremely excellent costumes. A cover of $30 includes your first drink as well as snacks, and the restaurant will also feature drink specials and discounted draft beers ($6 and $5 apiece, respectively). And there’s a DJ, of course, spinning your favorite monster melodies. It’s a fun time for holiday enthusiasts and a good opportunity to let loose and let your wig hair down. Suggestion for the uninitiated: Go before the party starts, and order the so-hot-it’s-scary onion soup, which is by far the best in town.
Rowdy Hall, 10 Main Street, East Hampton, (631) 324-8555.
This goth-themed vegan café in West Hempstead (say that one three times fast) opened 21 years ago and continues to draw a crowd, especially around the end of October. In fact, on Saturday nights, patrons will likely be met by a line snaking around the block. Once a general store, the restaurant is now a sort of perpetual love letter to Halloween, with wrought iron tables and Mexican-inspired skeleton wall hangings. Dim lighting and goth black-clad coffee drinkers only add to the atmosphere. Yes, it’s vegan, and yes, it’s booze-free, but you’ll still find comfort in the spooky enough Black Widow coffee concoction. And the fiercest Halloween devotees will agree: The creepy, comfortable ambiance definitely does not disappoint.
The Witches Brew, 311 Hempstead Turnpike, West Hempstead, (516) 489-9482.
Looking for a more genuine version of Halloween? Well, Katie’s of Smithtown is definitely for you. The bar and restaurant has had a long history of paranormal activity, much of which, some say, comes to a head around Halloween. The haunt was featured on a 2008 episode of Paranormal State and continues to spook patrons. Katie’s was allegedly erected on the site of an old hospital, which burned down in 1909 and it’s the go-to place for those looking for a good, old fashioned haunting. Owner Brian Karppinen will happily regale you with tales of his personal hauntings. Too scared to visit in person? Katie’s website features links to a series of videos, showing footage from the paranormal activity occurring therein. Boo!
Katie’s of Smithtown, 145 W. Main Street, Smithtown, (631) 360-8556.
I have a special relationship with Amityville, which is home to the infamous haunted house that birthed a series of movies named for it: My mother was born there. And although my mother was not, as my grandmother often intimated, the “original Amityville horror,” it may or may not be haunted still—and the town embraces that place in the camp canon. This year, as in years past, Revolution Bar & Music Hall will host the Amityville Horror All Hallows Eve Party the weekend before Halloween, a music and drinking fest with an abundance of costumes and drink specials. Don’t miss it.
Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Road, Amityville, (631) 264-7712.
This story was originally published in October 2017.