26 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • DECEMBER 2017 26 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • SEPTEMBER 2017 26 LONGISLANDPRESS.CO M • SEPTEMBER 201-----------TUTU111
LI Eye Eppy goes upscale
30 Years Later, My Father’s Place Returns in Posh Style
By WARREN STRUGATCH
As a Hofstra undergrad journalism major
during the mid-’70s, I hung out at the school
paper The Chronicle, interviewed visiting speakers
like Dick Gregory and Allen Ginsberg and
late at night wrote jazz reviews. Everybody else
wrote about rock and talked about a club called
My Father’s Place.
“Cool,” I thought. “Somebody’s dad owns a
I learned you didn’t need to go to Roslyn for
My Father’s Place, just turn on the radio. The
club’s owner, a Buddha-bellied, snaggle-toothed
former headshop owner named Michael Epstein,
Long Island-famous as “Eppy,” had struck a deal
with WLIR. The FM powerhouse broadcast concert
pickups across much of the Northeast.
The club’s fame spread. Rock royalty poured into
Roslyn: Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, The Police,
Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. James Brown and
Keith Richards. Cindy Lauper and Pat Benatar.
Lou Reed. The Ramones.
“It was a time of drugs, free love, free sex and
good music,” Epstein expansively told a local
weekly newspaper in 2013.
Too good a time, perhaps. Citing parking and
quality-of-life issues, authorities forced the club
to close in ‘87. Eppy hunkered down, doing music
promotion and artist management.
Six years ago, I organized an outdoor summer
business networking series at an elegant Nassau
hotel. We tapped the Long Island baby boom
demographic and puzzled over which boomer
celebrity everybody’d want to see.
We invited Eppy to open the series. From the
open-air stage he captivated the boomer crowd
with garrulous humor, Lawn Guyland chutzpah
and a steady stream of rock anecdotes.
“You just gave me back a slice of my youth,” one
attendee told me afterwards.
Last month, as if commemorating the club’s
30th anniversary of closure, Eppy returned to
the spotlight to announce he was reopening
My Father’s Place in – wait for it – Roslyn. He’d
spent three years working out a deal with the
owners of the 77-room Roslyn Hotel.
Having founded the grittiest rock club east of
CBGB, having been inducted into the Long
Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010, Eppy was
opening a posh supper club. Well, who thought
we’d ever hear Rod Stewart crooning songbook
I called Eppy and asked how it came about.
“I never wanted to close My Father’s Place,” he
acknowledges. “I was asked to leave because they
wanted to build a shopping center. The municipality
asked me back. I picked the hotel because
they have three levels of parking. There will be
no parking problems this time.”
Expect Eppy to adapt his fabled promotional
skills, honed on progressive rock FM radio, to
today’s social media channels.
“Everything changes,” he says. “But it’s all
good, really. I’m bringing live music back,
original music. Not just rock but jazz and
reggae, blues and folk. Some nights we’ll have
comedy. People forget I presented comedians
like Billy Crystal, Andy Kaufman and Eddie
Eppy will revive his brand and take it upscale
when My Father’s Place reopens, perhaps as
early as June.
“There will be excellent food in our restaurant
and nice tablecloths,” he says. As far as seating
goes, “I’m ordering chairs that cost $325 and
have lumbar devices.”
Eppy reflects on what he’d learned from building
Long Island’s premier rock venue, then losing
it amidst bitter recriminations from village
officials and aggrieved neighbors.
“I f***** up terribly,” he recalls. “I’ll do everything
differently this time. I f***** up by not
having proper legal representation, by presuming
things that weren’t true, and by disregarding
the taxing authorities. I had a good set of books
but it didn’t matter. You have to learn the ambiguities
of all the laws.”
Eppy says he’s ready to bury the hatchet. Just
don’t expect him to pucker up to his old adversaries.
“If they want to see a show they can buy a ticket,”
he says. “Come buy a ticket, sit down and
eat. I’ll put on a good show. Everyone will have a
He adds: “That’s all I can do.”
Outside the original My Father’s Place in Roslyn. (Photo by Steve Rosenfeld)
Debbie Harry of Blondie was among the many
high-profile acts to perform at My Father’s
Place. (Photo by Steve Rosenfeld)