Boardy Barn Reunion Bash Sparks Controversy, Organizer Sues Family

HAMPTON BAYS, NY – Five months after the iconic Boardy Barn in Hampton Bays was sold in May, organizers of a reunion and fundraiser said it was meant to pay homage to the long-running gathering place date sparked controversy.

And now Sean Henderson of Holiday Productions LLC in Happauge has filed a lawsuit arguing that the family and former owners of the beloved nightclub are trying to hold back the plans.

According to an online announcement for the event, the “Barn Bash Reunion Fundraiser,” featuring music from “Barn Original DJs,” will take place on Sunday, September 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at South Haven County Park in Yaphank.

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“The barn is back,” the flyer said. “There will be hundreds of kegs, food trucks, vendors, raffles, local sponsors, entertainment and a huge tent. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Christmas Magic, a charitable foundation, as well as scholarships and individual grants awarded to each of these high schools: Riverhead, William Floyd, Moriches Center, Longwood, Southold, Bellport, Pat-Med and Greenport.”

Additionally, the flyer states: “DISCLAIMER: Not affiliated with the Boardy Barn organization. Not a Shields or Galgano sponsored event. »

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The Boardy Barn, which was owned by Tony Galgano – who died in November – and Mickey Shields, went on sale in September at a currently undisclosed price. According to an article in Behind the Hedges this week, the property sold for $4 million.

Panagiota Betty Tuffariello, Mount Sinai attorney for Henderson, which organizes the Barn Bash meeting, filed a lawsuit in United States District Court, Eastern District of New York on September 2. The complaint is filed against Anthony M. Galgano, Jr. and/or the estate of Anthony M. Galgano, Jr., Michael Anthony Galgano, as estate trustee, Michael T. Shields, Brian J. Shields and Michael Thomas Shields, son of Michael T. Shields.

The premise of the lawsuit is that after Galgano’s death and sale of the business, the right to use the Boardy Barn trademark was “abandoned”.

“Trademark rights come from use,” Tuffariello told Patch. “When an individual or person ceases to use a mark, he loses the rights to that mark. This is the most fundamental principle of trademark law.”

Tuffariello added that advertising for the event made no mention of the Boardy Barn. “If you look at it, you’ll notice there’s no specific mention of Boardy Barn in it,” she said.

The event page is decorated with yellow smiley faces that say “Barn Bash” – the original Boardy Barn was known for its bright yellow smiley face stickers.

However, Tuffariello said: “The question before the court is not whether it directly resembles a Boardy Barn event or whether they are different enough, but rather in consumer confusion. Will consumers be confused by thinking it is an event affiliated with or sponsored by the Boardy Barn?The complaint makes it clear that the answer is no.

According to the complaint, “Holiday Productions obtained permission from the widow of defendant Anthony M. Galgano, Jr., Wendy Galgano, to perform the event.”

Wendy Galgano could not immediately be reached for comment.

On July 27, a resolution was approved by Suffolk County authorizing the use of the park for the reunion event, the complaint states.

Once that approval was obtained, Henderson began promoting the event on social media, including Facebook, the complaint states. According to that same complaint, in August, Henderson had a text message conversation with Brian J. Shields.

Henderson, according to the complaint, told Shields that “Wendy is not involved in anything and does not work, but would like to have as many former employees work.”

“It’s alright my man,” Shields’ text reportedly read. “Whoever wants to work it, God bless him.”

Next, the complaint states that Henderson received another text message from Brian J. Shields which read, “You may not use the words Boardy Barn or any depiction thereof. For anything… I know that c It’s something you do out of respect for the place, but any depiction of the Boardy Barn is not permitted.

Later, Henderson said Mike Shields posted on his Facebook about the event and asked where the proceeds from the event would go.

The complaint also says that whenever Henderson attempted to promote the event, posts were removed from social media “upon request.”

The lawsuit accuses Galgano, Michael Shield and Brian Shields of an “unauthorized, improper and unlawful campaign to sabotage the event.”

And, the complaint continued: “Holiday Productions is unable to sell tickets. Failure to sell tickets not only harms Holiday Productions, but also harms the general well-being of Suffolk County residents. , the local Suffolk County government itself by depriving him of the income he will receive as a result of the event, and the local schools scholarship programs from which the event will benefit,” the complaint states. .

Tuffariello told Patch that the event definitely had to happen.

Patch could not reach Galgano or Shields despite requests for comment.

Speaking to Patch, Henderson said he hoped to rectify the situation. “We want to solve this problem,” he said. “There were a lot of misunderstandings.”

Henderson told Patch that for years he has hosted community fundraisers, including a “haunted ghost walk” in memory of Boy Scout Andrew McMorris who was killed by a drunk driver, as well as town events. Halloween and Christmas Town events aimed at raising funds for those in need in the community.

Henderson said he loves the Boardy Barn. The reunion event, he said, “is to honor Tony.”

When the Boardy Barn was sold in May, many were saddened in the East End – the news marked the end of an era.

“To our beloved family, employees, customers, partners and community,” Boardy Barn’s Facebook page said. “Mickey Shields and Tony Galgano first opened the barn doors on April 16, 1970. From that day on, the Boardy Barn became better and more unique the moment each of you walked through those doors. We are deeply grateful for the memories we hold. It is true that we have sold the property at 270 West Montauk Highway Hampton Bays, effective May 5, 2022. We wish the new owners good luck as they work to determine what the property will become.

When the property was first listed, Galgano and Shields told Patch, “It’s true that after 51 years of creating memories, the Boardy Barn property is now up for sale…We are amazed to see the amount of interest. Most importantly, we would like to say ‘thank you!’ Words could never express how grateful we are to our loyal customers, friends and family for decades who make The Barn such a special place. more.'”

In 2020, before Galgano’s death, the community came together in a big way to help Boardy Barn’s beloved partner, who was battling health issues and the impacts of the pandemic. A GoFund Me, “Tony Galgano, Partner At The Boardy Barn, Needs Us”, was created by Tom Cannuscio of Hampton Bays.

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