An MMA fighter, a roofing contractor, a car wash magnate and an IT guy.
The dream team that brought Island Strong to Sayville four years ago couldn’t have been a more eclectic group of 30-something bros — that is until this year when they added a whimsical woodworker to the mix.
Ricky Saetta — aka ricky.teevee on Instagram — is the artist commissioned by the Island Strong quartet to create the ultimate 1980s hangout inside South Quarter, a retro clothing store opening April 9 at 10 Main St. in Sayville.
“We relied heavily on his creativity and design,” said Terrance Saporito, 37, the IT guy in the ownership group, said about the uber-popular Greenport artist. “Whatever success this place has will be massively attributed to his brain.
“He’s part of our quarter. Now, we’re a five-man wolf pack,” he added, laughing.
Saporito and his crew started the Island Strong clothing line in 2015, and four years ago opened the brand’s clothing store in a shop behind Main Street in Sayville. That store closed last week, but the space — and the Island Strong brand — will be used to support South Quarter.
The other owners are Brian Jones, 38, a commercial roofer from Holbrook; MMA fighter Chris “The Long Island Killer” Wade, 33, of Islip; and Al Carrabis; who back in the day was Saporito’s first-ever boss at Lakeland Car Wash and who now owns dozens of car washes across Long Island.
South Quarter — “South” representing its South Shore location and “Quarter” standing for the four quarters of the ownership team — takes the place of BlackWaterVapor, which was given the boot from Main Street by Islip Town in 2019.
Along with in-demand Island Strong and South Quarter items, the new shop will feature other local brands, as well as independent clothing lines from across the country, Saporito said.
“Cobra Kai” and “Karate Kid” fans will be happy to know that Contenders Clothing is among the roster of brands set to be sold at South Quarter.
While Saporito has been confident that the product will sell, he said ownership believes that Saetta and his art will take the shop to the next level.
“We didn’t want to just open up another shop and sell some clothes,” he said. “That’s why we went to Ricky. He creates an experience wherever he goes and in whatever he touches. It’s just magical.”
Indeed. Saetta’s unique artistry and craftsmanship are prominent in every nook and cranny of South Quarter.
Two wooden clothing racks feature meticulously carved and dyed facades made to look exactly like old school soda machines. One features buttons for RC Cola, Tab and Orange Crush. The other is all about hyping Jolt and Hubba Bubba soda.
There’s a photo booth-themed dressing room and a wall of up-cycled TVs that Saetta rescued from the dumps. Saetta also created two hand-carved wooden video game consoles for South Quarter — one with Frogger decor and the other featuring Ms. Pacman. They both also serve as clothing racks.
A giant metal “South” sign on the shop’s west-facing wall was Saporito’s find. It’s from the old South Bay Cinemas in West Babylon. There’s a section of chain linked fence on the same wall — the kind of fence, Saporito said, “that we hopped over to get to our friend’s house or when we were running away from something when we were kids.”
Saetta, 40, who designed the well-reviewed 1960s and 1970s fixtures throughout the popular Times Vintage clothing store in Greenport, beams with childlike pride at his creation on Main Street in Sayville.
“We set out to create a retro 1980s atmosphere from our childhood — like a place, if you were 10, you dreamed of hanging out,” he said. “Like when you ride your BMX bike to your friend’s house, and you play video games and watch movies on VHS tapes.”
South Quarter in Pictures
Scroll through the photos below for a further peak of what’s inside Sayville’s new South Quarter clothing store.