It was an unusual early morning get together on Bond Street last week, but it promises to become a regular event for the tenants of the historic Thomaston Building and Patrick Silberstein who’s owned the building since 1981.
“8at8”, named in honor of the building’s address, is Silberstein’s idea of having his tenants, most of whom speak of him as a very close friend rather than as their landlord, get together four or five times a year to have breakfast at 8 A.M. and talk about their mutual concerns, ideas and experiences.
But not only was George Pecoraro and Henry An’s soon to be opened La Rotonda restaurant on Silberstein’s ground floor packed last week with many of the building’s tenants, but there were plenty of other business people attending the session from the neighborhood and from as far away as Stony Brook.
“Everybody who I’ve met in this building are extraordinary people,” said Marilyn Freedman who is a physical therapist with an office on the second floor.
“I loved the information that was shared and I would very much like for this to continue,” she said as the meeting ended. “It’s a very powerful group.”
Silberstein was very happy with the breakfast and promised, “We’re going to do this four or five times a year.”
Silberstein brought in another one of his many friends, Rob Fishman, of Sandler Training to work with the guests. Fishman, who lived in Great Neck for a time and works out of Hauppauge, delighted the group with his motivational ideas on developing more effective sales strategies and business building techniques.
It was an eclectic mix listening to Fishman, in addition to those who have space in the building. Sam Sosa, a Hempstead contractor currently working on renovations on the Community Church on Stoner Avenue, two local real estate brokers and David Kamali and Isaac Shaer who will be opening Badger & Welsh, a full line men’s clothing store at 41 Middle Neck Road within the next few months were among those also invited by Silberstein.
Jean Celender, Great Neck Plaza’s Mayor, who was a tenant at 8 Bond for 28 years, was there also. After Fishman’s presentation, Celender said, “I think it was wonderful. There were a lot of good things that I took away from it. I think this a great idea to get everyone together to network.”
Kenny Wiesen, who, with his son Jordan have brought back Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy to candy shelves and are about to re-launch the Reed’s and Regal Crown candy lines too, were emphatic in their praise of Silberstein during the meeting.
“We were lucky to meet Patrick,” said Wiesen, who has been his tenant a little over a year. “One of the things I always say about Patrick is that most landlords . . . you select them. You always get the feeling that Patrick selected you.”
“It’s been a pleasure meeting Patrick and having discussions with him,” added Jordan. “Our office doesn’t feel like an office. It feels like a second home.”
Cindy Smith of Stony Brook’s IQ Strategy Group, who’s working with the La Rotonda owners on marketing their restaurant said, “I’ve done a lot of work in the real estate world, and Patrick is the coolest landlord ever.”