One year ago Sertinos Cafe entered Smithtown, taking over the former home to Sizzler on West Main Street. Locals would have another choice to enjoy coffee, lunch, ice cream and more.
With the year anniversary here, Lowenthal reflected on his experience as a first-time business owner.
"It's been a whirlwind filled with a lot of ups and downs," he said. "A lot of people love the concept [and] thank me for being in Smithtown to some days we wonder if anyone lives in Smithtown because we're empty."
In the first year Lowenthal said the "Pair Any 2 Combo" and paninis have done very well and with the second year he will provide a greater focus around two specific items on the menu he'd like to see sell more.
"The coffee and the ice cream, we'd like to see the coffee and ice cream part of the business bigger than it is right now," he said. "We try to have our specials around the ice cream and the coffee and get people to know, 'hey, you can come in and have a varied selection here.'"
A goal for Lowenthal for his second year in operation is to get locals to know exactly what kind of eatery Sertinos is. While he said he has a steady amount of regulars and people are aware of what the cafe serves, there are still numerous locals that aren't aware it is a casual eatery with quickly served food items, similar to a Panera Bread or Starbucks.
"We still have people that still thought it was a Sizzler where they want to sit down and be served and the concept isn't right for them that night," he said.
Also in the second year Lowenthal plans on focusing more on lunch catering for local businesses and offices as well as bringing in new items.
Lowenthal, , said he's glad he made the decision to open the cafe instead of returning to New York City to work.
"I've met a tremendous amount of people, overwhelmingly great people here, customers that really love the place and that makes me feel great," he said.