Step outside on a typical Friday evening in Mattituck and all you will hear is crickets. Listen closely though, on the first Friday of the month, and you may hear the distant sound of this hamlet’s residents letting their hair down at First Friday on Love Lane. I’ve worked at the Love Lane Kitchen table on First Friday a number of times, so allow me to provide an insider’s perspective.
Love Lane has long been Mattituck’s center of commerce, and with the exception of the Post Office, all of the businesses which populate it are family owned. However, not many of the businesses are open past 6 p.m. and by nightfall the lane is desolate, save for those enjoying dinner at Love Lane Kitchen. For those residents who are passionate about shopping local, First Fridays offer an opportunity to meet the owners and employees of local businesses and learn more about the work they do.
First Fridays on Love Lane kicked off their fifth season in May, running through October. From 6–9 p.m. the street is closed off and the fair is open for business. The event is organized by the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce and draws an enormous crowd eager to sample food, drink, and more from the participating businesses who volunteer to stay open late or set up booths along the street. In August, DJ Henry will spin epic tunes while visitors eat, drink and shop the best of what the North Fork has to offer.
Events like First Fridays accentuate the strong sense of community on the North Fork and in Mattituck. I found myself working the Love Lane Kitchen table last August when my beloved 27-year-old Volvo was finally starting to show its age. Funny as it may sound to those unfamiliar with the Volvo 240, I really wasn’t expecting my aged car to need replacing anytime soon. Nevertheless, being due back at school in Connecticut within the month meant it was crunch time to find a new ride. That night at First Friday I placed a pint glass labeled “new car tip jar” next to the obligatory lobster sliders and rosé, and I waited. Many were kind enough to donate to my new wheels fund, and I left having sold out of sliders with a lot of advice on which type of car to look for and which to avoid. The people of the North Fork had come out on a Friday night to support local business, a noble effort in and of itself, and in turn had done what they do best—help their own.
More info about First Fridays on Love Lane can be found at facebook.com/firstfridaysonlovelane.