Ettore Pennachia never imagined he would someday be named grand marshal of the Cutchogue St. Patrick’s Day parade.
“It was a total surprise,” Mr. Pennacchia said. “I’m as Italian as they get.”
The owner of Touch of Venice restaurant on Main Road will be honored at the 11th annual parade this weekend for the Pennacchia family’s devotion to their community, said organizer Joe Corso.
“Since they came to Cutchogue, the family has been very supportive of the civic functions going on,” he said. “They’ve really done a great job in getting involved with the community from day one.”
Mr. Pennacchia first opened his restaurant in Mattituck, but moved to Main Road four years ago, taking over the former Fishermans’ Rest space.
“When Fisherman’s Rest closed, it was really a blow to a community,” Mr. Corso said. “Now his business is so successful … It’s been a real boon to downtown Cutchogue.”
Mr. Pennacchia said the decision to open his doors to local community organizations like the historical society was the right thing to do. That attitude has paid off; business has doubled since he relocated, he said.
“You’re in a small community,” he said. “You have to be involved. You get to know everybody.”
Mr. Pennacchia said he’s already ordered 100 pounds of corned beef to serve at Touch of Venice during the parade.
That makes him Irish enough, in Mr. Corso’s eyes.
“When it’s St. Patrick’s day, everybody’s Irish,” he said.