Westhampton Restaurateur, Developer John J. Armstrong Remembered as Family Man

John J. Armstrong
John J. Armstrong

John J. Armstrong, a real estate developer from Westhampton Beach, New York City and Palm Beach who owned popular NYC clubs, died peacefully on March 27.

He was 71.

Armstrong was born in New York City on March 19, 1952. He graduated from St. Helena High School (now Monsignor Scanlan High School) in 1971 and then achieved academic success at Marist College, graduating in 1975. He later served in the New York National Guard.

Armstrong had a successful career in the hospitality industry owning restaurants and nightclubs in Manhattan. Casey’s Dance Hall and Saloon was so popular that lines formed around the block just to get into this hot spot. A trailblazer, he established Yorkville and Carnegie Hill Breweries in the early 1990s, which were among the first microbreweries in Manhattan. He also was an entrepreneur in real estate, developing commercial and residential properties on the East End of Long Island.

Mostly though, Armstrong was a beloved son, brother, uncle, great uncle and friend. Affectionately known as Uncle John to family and friends alike, he brought people together. Whether it was at Casey’s in NYC, in Saratoga, or at his home in Westhampton Beach, Armstrong loved having his family and friends around and was always the most generous host. His loved ones all share wonderful memories of summer Masses celebrated by the late Father Pete (Colapietro) at Armstrong’s home followed by libations and gourmet meals — parties that often went until the wee hours with the sounds of Donna Summer, Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra filling the air.

He cherished dinner with friends, a day at the racetrack cheering on his horses, and reading and relaxing on the beach. He will be missed greatly. Friends and family will forever hold him in their hearts, and his legacy will live on always.

He was predeceased by his loving parents Margaret (Gilroy) and Patrick Armstrong. He is survived by his devoted sisters, Helen Lenahan (David) and Catherine Gallucci, and his brother Thomas Armstrong (Kate).

He leaves behind nieces Eileen Matchett (Stephen), Kathleen Michael (Gary) and Kathleen Finnerty (Michael) and nephews David Lenahan (Stephanie), Bill Gallucci (Lana), Stephen Gallucci (Maura), Jim Gallucci (Gloria), Michael Gallucci (Ilysa), Thomas Armstrong (Julie) and Patrick Armstrong (Nancy), and many great-nieces and great-nephews who all adored their great-uncle.

He is also predeceased by his dear brother-in-law William Gallucci, and beloved nephews Lawrence Lenahan and Timothy Armstrong.

A Mass celebrating Armstrong’s life and faith was held on April 3 at Immaculate Conception Church in Westhampton Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Monsignor Scanlan High School or Marist College.