My Father's Place caters to grown-up fanbase at The Roslyn Hotel

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My Father's Place caters to grown-up fanbase at The Roslyn Hotel
My Father's Place venue in The Roslyn Hotel basement. (Courtesy of Dan Kellachan)

My Father’s Place, the iconic Roslyn-based club that helped launch the careers of music legends like Madonna, The Ramones and Blondie in the 1970s and 80s, has transformed into a “rock club for grown-ups” at The Roslyn Hotel.

Michael “Eppy” Epstein has turned the Long Island landmark into a refined supper club in the basement of The Roslyn Hotel.

“It’s important to let people know that there is a place – forget about the history. There’s a place they can come to now to hear great new music in an intimate setting in what we call a supper club, which is a place that their grandparents and great-grandparents used to go to,” Eppy said. “It’s a different experience than going into Brooklyn, going to listen to music and standing up in a basement.”

Eppy and his associate, Dan Kellachan, operate My Father’s Place through a close partnership with Sumeer Kakar, the hotel owner.

Kakar streamlined the dining options for the supper club, replicating the exact menu offered at the hotel’s restaurant next to the supper club where customers can grab a drink and food before the show.

This way, audience members don’t need to worry about booking a reservation at a restaurant and rushing to grab the best seats when doors open, since the supper club offers first-come, first-serve seating.

“The menu changed dramatically as the audience aged,” Kakar said. “We’re much more of an eclectic menu now as opposed to a bar food crowd.”

From small plates like shrimp cocktail, buffalo wings and mussels to sushi, soup, pasta, burger and chicken and steak options, the food at My Father’s Place is not an after-thought.

Eppy and Dan said the chef at the hotel is “wonderful,” and they have not received one complaint from customers about the food since they opened the venue.

The club is already booked for 37 shows through June of this year and Kellachan hopes to reach 120 shows by the end of the year.

Some upcoming shows include Steve Forbert, who will be returning to My Father’s Place on May 11, and Long Island blues guitarist Kerry Kearney, who will be playing with a group of blues guitarists in a tribute to Robert Johnson on May 2.

A full list of shows can be found on the My Father’s Place website.

The venue reopened at The Roslyn Hotel in September and Eppy is thrilled to have My Father’s Place back in Roslyn.

Although he is still focused on featuring new, young artists, his years-long ban on cover artists has loosened.

“What seems to be in huge demand is cover bands,” Kellachan said. “Neither of us [Kellachan or Eppy] was brought up on doing cover bands but the truth of the matter is that even some of the biggest bands in the world right now are literally cover bands with one original member, like Journey.”

Another shift is the move toward community performances. What was once a rock and roll club that had young girls screaming at Eppy in pursuit of Joey Ramone is now seeking out school parties and bat mitzvahs.

The venue has an upcoming Broadway villains-themed performance by the Royal Crown Players of Roslyn High School, as well as a “Bring Your Daughter to a Princess Day” brunch event.

But one aspect of My Father’s Place that has always stayed the same is how Eppy and Kellachan treat the performers.

“When the talent comes in, we are attentive to them and [we] treat every artist who comes in here to play as if they are a nationally known [or] international act,” Kellachan said.

This VIP treatment includes a greenroom for performers to wait before their set and a hot meal from the hotel restaurant.

Eppy has always had an affinity for up-and-coming artists, from hosting Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen to Billy Crystal and Eddie Murphy at the original My Father’s Place. He recalled one interaction with a new artist from years ago.

One winter, a young female artist arrived at My Father’s Place in a limo to promote her new record. She was set to perform that night, despite the frigid cold that had swept in through Roslyn. Electric wires froze and the power went out across town.

And as luck would have it, her band’s bus broke down in the ice storm, leaving her and the band stranded in Roslyn.

But the show had to go on. She performed with the musicians who had already made it to the club that night. While she had only been scheduled for one performance, hundreds of fans were waiting outside in the freezing cold, hopeful for an encore performance.

Eppy asked the artist to sing another song as the crowd chanted her name, but she said that the band didn’t know any other songs. So Eppy wrote the lyrics to “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas on a piece of paper for the singer and reminded the guitarist of the rhythm.

Years later, that artist, Linda Ronstadt, would release “Heat Wave” as a single, reaching number 5 on the Billboard charts.

Her record producer later called Eppy, promising him a gold single in the mail – which never arrived.

But the shift in venue and performers makes sense, since Eppy really grew up alongside My Father’s Place. He was only 22 when the original venue opened in 1971.

“It’s the club that wouldn’t die,” said Eppy.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I started coming to My Father's Place in 1974. Before I was legal, this is where I began to learn what good music was all about. I have the best memories of music and people ever. This is where my career was directed in the life of music. I wish I were back in NY to continue living and enjoying music with My Father's Place and Eppy Epstein! You rock Eppy! Peace and Love.
    Jill Canarick

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