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Third Avenue Merchants give back at annual shindig

Third Avenue business-owner Giacomo Santangelo is living the dream. That dream, he said, is finally having his own restaurant, Giacomo’s, on Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue strip.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business for many years,” said Santangelo, also the owner of an eatery in Sunset Park, “but it’s always been my dream to be on Third Avenue, and what a way to celebrate.”

Santangelo was dressed to the nines on Monday, November 1, an evening that saw his Bay Ridge restaurant closed for a private party – the annual Merchants of Third Avenue Holiday Party, that is.

“I love being able to celebrate with such wonderful people,” he said. “I love Bay Ridge, and I love Third Avenue.”

Bob Howe, president of the Third Avenue Merchants Association, agreed.

“The wonderful thing about this holiday party is that we serve a couple of different purposes,” he said, pointing to a growing tower of unwrapped toys to be donated to the children of service men and women living at Bay Ridge’s own Fort Hamilton Army Base. “We get to give back to the children of the men and women who serve our country; we have the opportunity to thank all of the merchants who work throughout the year to run a successful commercial strip; and we get to thank our legislators, our police officers, and our community groups that help keep Bay Ridge the greatest neighborhood in Brooklyn.”

Among those present to cheers to another holiday season were Assemblymembers Alec Brook-Krasny and Nicole Malliotakis, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, and State Senator Marty Golden.

The room – aglow with Christmas lights and adorned with garlands – was also chock full of local activists, members of the merchants association and, of course, the staff at Giacomo’s, on hand to serve up some of the eatery’s most delectable specials.

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