By Janee Law
Sandra Finley and her late husband, John, made an impulsive decision nearly 25 years ago. They decided to open up a new Huntington village establishment, Finley’s of Green Street, in what was formerly Garvins.
That impulse has yielded almost a quarter century’s worth of dining, drinks and entertainment.
The couple’s oldest son, D.R., had made a splash for himself as owner of both Jekyll & Hyde Club in Manhattan and Bayville Adventure Park in Bayville and urged his parents to purchase the space left by Garvins.
“Whatever you pay for, it won’t matter. You’ll make it up in one good weekend in the summer,” he said to his parents.
Sandra Finley, looking back to the moment, said, “He was right. It was the best advice we ever got. ... It doesn’t matter what you pay for a place. If you want it, go and get it.”
John, a dentist, and Sandra, a social worker who also worked in residential real estate, bought the 43 Green St. location three days later.
“The day we opened the place was full,” Sandra Finley said. “It was an impulsive decision that we never regretted, and never looked back.”
Since then, the tavern has become a dining and entertainment destination in Huntington Village. There are typically live bands playing among the three bars, indoor dining space and outdoor dining areas in the front and back.
“There’s no other backyard bar in the whole village and each part of the venue has its own personality,” Finley said. “If people are here on a Friday and Saturday night after dinner and they want to have a quiet conversation with their friends, you can move to a different room or you can go outside. I don’t think anybody else can offer that.”
New Orleans style food can be ordered throughout Finley’s through Storyville American Table, the restaurant led by Chef Bobby Bouyer that neighbors the tavern. In addition to the New Orleans cuisine, Finley’s offers tavern food like burgers, steaks and wings.
Finley’s also has a specialty drinks menu with a New Orleans flare, along with specialty martinis and 32 beers on tap, a staple since the establishment first opened.
“When we first opened up, we were on the cutting edge of the craft beer movement. Nobody in town had 32 on tap,” Finley said. “That was one of our claims to fame.”
Promoter Scotto Savitt, who serves as director of marketing and entertainment for Finley’s, said that “Sandy Finley and the Finley family are certainly iconic in our community.”
Finley’s is also a venue for entertainment, where adults can have a night out with their friends on Friday and Saturday and enjoy music from live bands and DJs, who have performed in Manhattan clubs. With a sound and lighting system, bands and DJs entertain the crowd from Finley’s platform stage.
“We have wonderful music and bands love to play at Finley’s,” Finley said. “Our sound system is the best and I only know that because the bands tell me that our sound system is so great.”
The tavern is also involved with the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and are planning to host a communal holiday party for smaller businesses within the town.
Finley’s is designed to be a place where the food is delicious, it’s friendly and casual, and people know they’re going to experience incredible entertainment, Finley said.
“I love to see people enjoying themselves and having a good time,” Finley said. “It’s a good feeling to be part of the community.”
She added, “We have something to offer everyone and there is no other place in town like it. You can choose to dine inside and outside six months out of the year. I don’t know anyone else in town who can say that.”
Next year, in celebration of Finley’s 25th year of business, Finley said staff will partake in random acts of kindness throughout the year and that a celebration is planned for sometime next summer.