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If there’s one thing every parent knows, it’s that choosing the right venue for a child’s b’nai mitzvah can be a massive undertaking. The to-do list is almost enough to induce a heart attack: food, music, themes, lighting, guest lists and most of all location. But why schvitz over planning the perfect party when you can the whole process in the capable hands of a family that’s been producing incredible bar and bat mitzvahs in a gorgeous beachfront location for almost 60 years?
“We’ve done over 25,000 parties and at least 10,000 weddings and bar mitzvahs,” says Stuart Yachnowitz, the second-generation owner of The Sands at Atlantic Beach in Atlantic Beach, New York. “We want to make everybody happy.”
The Sands is one of the rare venues that has something for every family. The huge 45,000-square feet of space has beach cabanas, private party rooms, a catering hall, and even a nightclub. The various party halls can accommodate up to 800 people, while the newly constructed nightclub can hold up to 140 guests (to check out the digs at The Sand, click through our above slide show). All of the facilities are in amazing shape, too — the nightclub, for example, was recently renovated and now has over 100 LED lights, 14 high-definition plasma televisions, and a state-of-the-art sound system.
But the big draw, says Yachnowitz, is the food. Yachnowitz’s father was a butcher who founded The Sands in 1959 to house “Jem Catering,” his kosher catering company. Today, the same catering team continues to produce meals and service for all of the events.
“I always make sure that I only use the top quality ingredients,” says Yachnowitz. “We make more than enough food for everyone. I always make sure that people go home with food.”
Yachnowitz’s generosity extends well beyond his guests. After Hurricane Sandy, for example, Yachnowitz donated his space and staff to feed Thanksgiving dinner to 300 displaced people from hard-hit communities like Far Rockaway and Long Beach. Yachnowitz understands the challenges of rebuilding all too well: he had to reconstruct 130 cabanas and four tennis courts in the wake of the Hurricane. His hard work has paid off, though, and the Sands is now almost completely rebuilt. Yachnowitz credits the turnaround to his 35 years of experience working in the business.
“Over the years, I had to be a porter, cabana boy, kitchen, cook, you name it. There’s not one job in the business that I cannot do,” he says. “It has to be in your blood.”
Family values are deeply ingrained at The Sands. Yachnowitz has passed his expertise on to his son, who currently works as the kitchen steward for the kitchen at The Sands. Yachnowitz has also instilled his love for service in his staff, some of who have worked at The Sands for over 40 years. At The Sands, he says, it all comes down to the little things — Yachnowitz recently discovered two different martini glasses being used in service, so he reordered all of his glassware for 800 people.
“People work a lifetime to for a bar mitzvah,” says Yachnowitz. “It should be perfect.”
The Sands at Atlantic Beach [1395 Beech St. at Scott Drive in Atlantic Beach, (516) 371–4000]
©2013 Community News Group
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