First Community in the United States to Accept the Mobile Wallets, Alipay and Wechat Pay

Stony Brook, NY – Stony Brook Hamlet is located in New York, on the North Shore of Long Island, just 60 miles from Manhattan.  Stony Brook Village Center, created in 1941, is considered the first planned business community in the United States, and will make its mark on December 1 as the first community in the country to accept China’s leading mobile wallet payment platformsAlipay and WeChat Pay account for 90% of the Chinese mobile payment market share with over 1 billion active users.

The majority of establishments in this quaint, historic village, as well as its environs, have partnered with CITCON, a cross-border mobile payment leader to accept Alipay and WeChat via CITCON’s smart mobile point-of-sale (mPOS), easy-to-integrate API and software products to provide the most preferred payment options for Chinese consumers. “We are thrilled to partner with Stony Brook Village and make it the first community in the U.S. to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay.” said Chuck Huang, Founder and CEO of CITCON, “Mobile payment is the future of commerce, and by accepting the most preferred payment options for Chinese travelers makes it easy for businesses to provide a delightful experience and engage with millions of Chinese consumers.”

Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform, provides in-store payment service in more than 30 countries across the world; and WeChat Pay, a fully integrated payment solution within WeChat, the world’s most popular mobile social communications service with 980 million active users envisions and innovates new ways for people to connect, communicate and share. CITCON’s payment solutions enable cross-border payments for Chinese consumers to purchase goods and services overseas in Chinese Yuan and for merchants to be settled in local currencies.  Adding these payment options allows merchants to gain the opportunity to better service the Chinese traveler, and tap into an even larger revenue stream from one billion Chinese consumers who are the largest spenders, and the fastest growing traveler segment to North America.

China is the largest market for U.S. travel and tourism goods and services and astronomical growth is anticipated in the next few years.  Six million Chinese tourists are expected to visit the U.S. by the year 2020.

Discover Long Island’s President and CEO, Kristen Jarnagin says, “Chinese travelers are changing the scope of the international tourism market and Long Island is not only excited to welcome them but prepared to provide them with an experience steeped in convenience and ease that they are accustomed to.  This new advancement, combined with our destination’s diverse assets and proximity to New York City, gives Long Island an unmatched competitive edge in luring the lucrative Chinese visitor.”

WMHO has spearheaded this effort with ALON Marketing Group to bring together 30 organizations including restaurants, hotels, retail services, attractions and transportation to offer these services.  IN ADDITION, THROUGH THE PURCHASE OF A STONY BROOK VILLAGE CENTER GIFT CERTIFICATE AT WMHO’S EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER OR THEIR MANAGEMENT OFFICE, 111 MAIN STREET IN STONY BROOK, Asian customers can also make purchases at:  Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, Chico’s, LOFT, Crabtree & Evelyn, Brew Cheese, Wish, Roseland School of Dance, MensRoom Barber, Village Coffee Market, Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique and WMHO Heritage Gift Shop. This will accommodate Asian Long Island residents and Stony Brook University faculty and students. The Asian population, as it stands today, is 16% in a one mile radius of the Stony Brook Village Center.  Gloria Rocchio, President of The Ward Melville Heritage Organization says, “Stony Brook is an international community.  Partnering with Ali Pay and We Chat Pay provides the Asian resident and visitor with a familiar way of payment and makes the area Asian-friendly.”

Photo Credit:  WMHO



The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO), founded in 1939, is a privately funded not-for-profit corporation.  The Stony Brook Village Center, known to be the first planned business community created in the United States, is located at Main Street on Stony Brook Harbor.  WMHO and the Stony Brook Village Center is the creation of philanthropist Ward Melville. Its many unique features include a sweeping village green and crescent shaped design. In its early years the American Institute of Architects hosted an annual conference in Stony Brook to study his creation.  The mechanical eagle on the Post Office pediment flaps its wings every hour on the hour from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily as it has done for over 75 years welcoming thousands of visitors to its specialty shops, restaurants, attractions and hotels.  Ward Melville donated the land that Stony Brook University stands on today. WMHO owns and maintains numerous historic structures and environmentally sensitive areas in Stony Brook, New York.  Thousands visit each year to participate in community arts and cultural enrichment events offered by WMHO such as outdoor festivals, wetlands cruises, musical theatre performances, Chinese New Year celebrations and Customer Appreciation Day festivities.  WMHO also owns and oversees various historic properties in Stony Brook, Setauket and Head of the Harbor, New York that are on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places.  They are available by appoint for tours and special programs.  Visit



Silicon Valley-based CITCON is the mobile payment solution leader for merchants to accept the fast-growing mobile wallets at the global scale. In North America, CITCON is the first and largest authorized merchant acquirer for WeChat Pay and Alipay, two of the most popular mobile wallet providers in the world with over 1 billion active users and over $800 billion mobile payment volume.  CITCON provides both in-store, and mobile / web / E-commerce payment solutions for thousands of merchants including renowned brands such as DFS, Pacific Gateway, China Unicom, YamiBuy among others, covering a wide variety of business sectors such as Retail, Hotel, Food & Beverage, Transportation, Entertainment Education and E-commerce. CITCON was founded by Chuck Huang, a mobile payment veteran with over 10 years’ experience in financial services and payment industries in both China and the US. CITCON management team consists of payment and technology veterans from VISA, PayPal, eBay, Uber, JD, Western Union. CITCON is backed by top notch Silicon Valley venture capital firms and received strategic investments from two public-traded multi-billion-dollar technology companies in China. For more information, please visit


Stony Brook University 2017 Demographics Data

  • 3,143 of non resident alien students are Asian (out of 4,685)
  • More than half of the international students come from Asian countries


Alipay & We Chat Pay Participants


  • Pentimento Restaurant

Phone Number: 631-689-7755

Contact Name: Dennis Young


Address:  89 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Crazy Beans

Phone Number: 631-675-6964

Contact Name: Callie Martino


Address:  97 A&B Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Sweet Mama’s

Phone Number: 631-512-0479

Contact Name: Marios Patatinis


Address:  121 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Fratellis Italian Eatery

Phone Number: 631-751-4445

Contact Name: Claude Cardin


Address:  77 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Robinsons Tea Room

Phone Number: 631-873-6516

Contact Name: Danielle Munoz


Address:  97E Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Mirabelle Restaurant & Tavern at Three Village Inn

Phone Number: 516-551-9727

Contact Name: Dan Laffitte


Address:  150 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • The Country House Restaurant

Phone Number: 631-751-3332

Contact Name: Bob Willemstyn


Address:  1175 Route 25A P.O. Box 271, Stony Brook, NY 11790



  • Three Village Inn

Phone Number: 631-751-0555

Contact Name: Dan Laffitte


Address:  150 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook

Phone Number: 631-471-8000

Contact Name: Denean Lane


Address:  3131 Nesconset Hwy, Centereach, NY 11720

  • Stony Brookside Bed & Bike

Phone Number: 631-675-0393

Contact Name: Elyse Buchman


Address:  48 Main St, Stony Brook, NY 11790



  • Stony Brook Village Center

Phone Number: 631-751-2244

Contact Name:  Marie Gilberti


Address:  111 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • The Ward Melville Heritage Organization

Phone Number: 631-689-5888

Contact Name:  Gloria Rocchio


Address:   111 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Stony Brook Harbor Kayak and Paddle Board Rentals

Phone Number: 631-631-834-3130

Contact Name: Nick Barbera


Address:  51 Shore Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Long Island Museum

Phone Number: 631-751-0066

Contact Name: Neil Watson


Address:  1200 NY-25A, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Whisper Vineyards

Phone Number: 631-257-5222

Contact Name: Laura Gallagher


Address:  485 Edgewood Ave., Saint James, NY 11780

  • The Jazz Loft

Phone Number: 631-751-1895

Contact Name: Tom Manuel


Address:  275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook, NY 11790



  • Chocolate Works Stony Brook

Phone Number: 631-697-4395

Contact Name: Chris Daniels


Address:  143 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Cottontails

Phone Number: 631-689-9147

Contact Name: Julie McGuire


Address:  113A Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions

Phone Number: 631-475-1118

Contact Name: Jeff Norwood


Address:  85 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Mint

Contact Name:  Nora Lynn


Address:  119 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • The Crushed Olive

Phone Number: 828-485-8635

Contact Name: Mona Rossero


Address:  133 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Rocky Point  Jewelers West

Phone Number: 631-751-3751

Contact Name: Linda Mammina


Address:  137 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790



  • Village Florist & Events

Phone Number: 516-459-2344

Contact Name: Amanda Haggquist


Address:  135 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Blue Salon and Spa

Phone Number: 631-944-2996

Contact Name: Cathleen Hansen


Address:  97D Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Harbor Cleaners

Phone Number: 631-751-0106

Contact Name: Sue Chang


Address: 73 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • KAH Fitness

Phone Number: 631-751-6680

Contact Name: Kimberly Harris


Address:  97F Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Cervo Design

Phone Number: 631-364-9600

Contact Name: Andrea Cervo


Address: 145 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • WatersEdge Dental

Phone Number: 631-751-0099

Contact Name: Dr. Morelli


Address: 97 Main Street Suite M, Stony Brook, NY 11790

  • Wiggs Opticians Inc.

Phone Number: 621-553-6747

Contact Name: Paul Mastrorocco


Address: 125 Main Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790



  • Mark of Elegance

Phone Number: 631-582-4180

Contact Name: Marc Weinstein


Address: 1717 Motor Pkwy, Hauppauge, NY 11788

Musical Theatre Tribute Performances Celebrating Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John

Stony Brook, NY – If you’re looking for live musical theatre right in your own back yard, Stony Brook Village is the place to be.  Performances in tribute to the lives of Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John open November 19 at WMHO’s Educational & Cultural Center and run through January 10.

The musical-comedy shows will not only be entertaining but compelling as they touch on the very dramatic lives and careers of these iconic stars.  Also included will be a high-tea luncheon in a beautifully decorated seasonal setting.  The talented cast will be Emily Tafur as Linda Ronstadt, Cierra Ervin as Olivia Newton-John and Darren St. George as Danny DeLuca.

This year is the 15th Anniversary of WMHO’s partnership with St. George Productions who put on these tribute performances. The Cultural Center is located at 97P Main Street, Stony Brook Village. Advance reservations are required.  General Admission is $48; seniors and children under 15 are $45; groups of 20 or more are $40 pp. Performances take place Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 am and Sundays at 12:30 pm.  Performance dates are November 19, 25, 26, 29, 30, December 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16 (11:30 am and a special 7 pm evening performance), 17, 20, 21; January 3, 4, 6, 7, 10

For reservations and further information call 631-689-5888 or visit

WMHO’s Annual Holiday Festival to Feature World-Acclaimed Giant Puppetry

Stony Brook, NY – Here come the puppets! 2017 will mark 38 years The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) has hosted its magical Holiday Festival in Stony Brook Village.  This year’s event, taking place Sunday, December 3, is sure to amaze visitors with the addition of 14 foot giant puppets created by renowned artists.

Local legends and the very beginning of espionage in the United States are part of the fiber and culture of the Three Village area, and they will be celebrated in dramatic fashion through this art.   The “Legends and Spies” Puppet Procession through Stony Brook Village will bring this history to life in the form of Ward and Dorothy Melville, visionary philant hropists and WMHO founders and Caleb Brewster and Benjamin Tallmadge, members of George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring. Shipbuilder Captain Jonas Smith, who owned the Hallock Homestead (now the Three Village Inn), and is thought to be Long Island’s first millionaire, will also march with this illustrious group.

The procession of puppets, led by Tom Manuel, President and Founder of The Jazz Loft and a New Orleans Brass Band will begin at 2:15 pm at the Stony Brook Fire Department in the Harbor Crescent section of the Village. WMHO Youth Corps families have volunteered their time to be “puppet handlers.”  Additional festivities starting at 1 pm include live music with WALK Radio, carolers, a holiday train display at the Cultural Center December 3 through 29 (private showings available), Wiggs Opticians Holiday Windows and, of course, Santa who arrives on a Stony Brook Fire Department antique truck at 2 pm to hear children’s wishes until 5 pm.  He returns in dramatic style at 5:30 pm atop the Stony Brook Fire Department’s 3,000 light float for the annual tree lighting. 

There is also the Promenade of Trees competition where families and community members decorate some 60 holiday trees which are on display through January 2.  The public votes for the winner who will receive a $150 Stony Brook Village Gift Certificate usable in all shops and restaurants.

Major event sponsors are Audi Smithtown, Lexus of Smithtown, Softheon, Damianos Realty Group, Ford of Smithtown and Bethpage Federal Credit Union.  Public funding provided by Suffolk County.


For additional information call 631-751-2244 or visit


Long Island’s Got Talent Final

Long Island’s Got Talent Finals this Friday, November 3

Stony Brook, NY – Each year students across Long Island get the opportunity to show off amazing skills in WMHO’s Annual Long Island’s Got Talent competition.  Come see the best of the best that Long Island has to offer as the winners are chosen Friday, November 3 at 6:30 pm at the Educational & Cultural Center in Stony Brook Village.

The caliber of talent that participates in this show is evident by the fact that two of the contestants had to drop out – but for a good reason – they have landed roles on Broadway and Radio City.  Don’t miss being there when the winners are chosen from these talented finalists from across Long Island. The cost is only $10 pp and refreshments are served.

  • Thomas Foschino, 16 from Bohemia / Vocalist, Guitar
  • Paul Foschino, 14 from Bohemia / Vocalist, Piano
  • Christy Jean, 15 from Brentwood / Vocalist
  • Jessica Nunez, 13 from Wantagh / Vocalist
  • Claire Lindsey, 14 from Centerport / Vocalist, Guitar

Makayla Connolly, a 10 year old singer from Northport, was offered the role of “Susan” in White Christmas and will be performing with the Broadway National Tour and singer and pianist, Robert Montano (after going on his first professional audition) was cast in the lead role of “Patrick” in this seasons Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.  He is 14 and from Centereach.


This year’s esteemed panel of judges are Gerry Saulter/Five Towns College Music Department, performance veteran, Ed Decorsia/New York’s Most Dangerous Big Band and Leer Leary (seen and heard in countless TV shows/films, commercials and member of Blackfriars Shakespeare Company, SAG-AFTRA).

For more information visit or call 631-751-2244.


Village Florist & Events Opens in Stony Brook Village

Stony Brook, NYVillage Florist & Events, formerly known as Lake Grove Village Florist for 9 years, has expanded and relocated to Stony Brook Village

Owner, Amanda Hagquist-LaMarian (pictured) will be offering everything from home décor to all-occasion florals including weddings and bridal showers. She will also host a variety of workshops such as Wine & Design on November 1 (Dried Flower Jewelry Making) with wine and snacks and then Holiday Fresh Wreath Making on December 6.

In addition the store will carry greeting cards, custom baskets, balloons, local gifts, silk flowers, candles and plants.  A Grand Opening celebration is planned for November 18 starting at Noon and customers can enjoy refreshments, a DJ, free workshops, raffles such as a Taste of Stony Brook Basket and more. To benefit Island Harvest, bring in cans of food and you can use those as a raffle entry (10 Cans = 10 Raffles, etc!)

Village Florist & Events is located at 135 Main Street in the Harbor Crescent section of picturesque Stony Brook and they can be reached at 631-467-0385.

A Tribute to Erik Halvorsen

A Tribute to Erik Halvorsen


Caption L-R:  Laura Huang-Ernst, WMHO Trustee;  Gloria Rocchio, WMHO President; Leif Halvorsen unveiled the plaque in honor of his father Erik Halvorsen; Dr. Richard Rugen, WMHO Chairman; Lilli Halvorsen (daughter of Erik and Britt Halvorsen); Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman, Valerie Cartright; Emilia Retzlaff (friend of the Halvorsen family); Britt Halvorsen (wife of Erik Halvorsen); Liv Halvorsen (daughter of Erik and Britt Halvorsen)


Stony Brook, NY  — Family and friends of Erik Halvorsen, along with Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman, Valerie Cartright and Ward Melville Heritage Organization trustees, came together on the Stony Brook Village Green recently to celebrate his life.  Erik was the former owner of Norse Tree and passed away tragically last November.

Jeff Owen of Owen Brothers, donated a dogwood tree and the Ward Melville Heritage Organization donated a boulder from the historic Mount House with a bronze plaque that reads:


Erik Halvorsen

Our Arborist…He Cared


“Oak K”



The area selected for the placement of the tree and plaque (next to the Jennie Melville Gardens) was done so not only for its beauty and peacefulness but because of Erik’s help with revitalizing that area and the entire Village Green.  Three Village residents made donations toward the project and their generosity exceeded the original cost.  That balance was given to Erik’s widow, Britt Halvorsen.  There are only three other plaques on the Village Green.  One is dedicated to Jennie Melville and the other two to Ward and Dorothy Melville.

PULSE Magazine: Stony Brook Restaurants are Worth the Trip!

Denine Anderson-Regan details the many fine dining options in the Stony Brook area, many of which are located right here in the Stony Brook Village Center. Read her original post below to see why Stony Brook restaurants are worth the trip.

Stony Brook Restaurants Worth the Trip

GOOD EATS  By denine anderson-regan | APRIL 5, 2017

Stony Brook has quickly become one of Long Island’s major tourist towns and centers for education. Visitors and locals alike are drawn to the hamlet’s cozy, yet chic vibe. Between beautiful nature trails, numerous shopping destinations and legendary Seawolves games, it’s no surprise that their restaurants are terrific too. The next time you’re headed up to the North Shore, make sure you set aside some time to grab a meal at one of these charming restaurants. 

Read the full article here.


Dogwood Tree Planted in Honor of Erik Halvorsen

December 15, 2016

Dogwood Tree Planted in honor of Erik Halvorsen

dogwood tree planted

Stony Brook, NY – Last summer, Erik Halvorsen, owner of Norse Tree Service in Setauket, worked on a project with Michael J. Opisso Designs beautifying the Village Green in Stony Brook Village.  When that project was finished, Erik mentioned that he had always wanted to donate a Dogwood tree to the Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) and it was determined that a location would be finalized at a later date.  Unfortunately in light of his recent tragic passing, that will not happen.

In his honor, WMHO has now planted that tree for him.  A 14-foot Dogwood was recently donated and installed by Jeff Owen of Owen Brothers Landscaping.  A bronze plaque honoring Erik’s memory will be placed on a boulder on the Village Green at a special dedication ceremony this spring.  Erik was pleased after learning of the significance of the Dogwood tree to the organization.  Jenny Melville, mother of WMHO’s founder, Ward Melville, loved Dogwoods and had them planted throughout the area, many times on private property.  Her dishware collection, used at the Three Village Inn for decades, also has the pattern of the Dogwood tree on it.

If you would like to make a contribution, please send your tax deductible donation to WMHO (P. O. Box 572, Stony Brook, NY 11790) and note Erik’s name. Any proceeds over and above the cost of the plaque and boulder will be given to the Halvorsen family.

For more information please contact 631-751-2244.

Photo Credit:  WMHO

Annual Black Friday Festivities Planned for Stony Brook Village

Annual Black Friday Festivities Planned for Stony Brook Villagesbvclogo

Stony Brook, NY – If you need a great day out after all the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and all that turkey, then head down to Stony Brook Village for a full day of Black Friday family-friendly events, November 25, starting at Noon.

fallWith over 30 shops and 7 restaurants to choose from, you can spend this traditional bargain day accomplishing what you need to in a charming setting overlooking Stony Brook Harbor.  Take in the sounds of holiday carolers and wind chimes, the sights of festive holiday windows and the tastes of high-end micro brewed craft beers and cheeses from around the world at Brew Cheese.  The day also includes live music with WALK Radio and “Walkie Bear,” a petting zoo, wine tastings at Lake Side Emotions, dance performances by Roseland School of Dance and specials, discounts and free samples in stores.

For full information contact 631-751-2244 or visit

37th Annual Holiday Festival and Holiday Tree Competition

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization Celebrates its

37th Annual Holiday Festival in the Stony Brook Village Center 


Stony Brook, NY- This year will mark 37 years The Ward Melville Heritage Organization has hosted its Annual Holiday Festival in picturesque Stony Brook Village.

Festivities will take place Sunday, December 4th from 1 to 5:30 pm and will include caroling throughout the day, a holiday train display at the Educational & Cultural Center, a petting zoo, the “Forgotten Christmas” theatrical performance by WMHO’s Youth Corps, Wiggs Opticians Holiday Windows and, of course, Santa Clause. He will thrill adults and children alike as he arrives with great fanfare on a horse-drawn carriage to hear children’s wishes from 2 pm to 5 pm. WALK Radio, with help from “Walkie Bear,” will also be on hand playing holiday music throughout the day and spinning their popular raffle wheel.  Santa returns in dramatic style at 5:30 pm atop a 3,000 light float created especially for him by the Stony Brook Fire Department for the annual tree lighting.

There is also a Holiday Tree Competition.  Families and community groups will decorate some 60 holiday trees beginning at noon on December 4 and they will be part of the traditional Promenade of Trees which will remain on display through January 1. The deadline to enter and reserve your tree is November 18 and the visiting public will choose the winner. The winning tree entry will receive a $150 Stony Brook Village Center Gift Certificate usable in over 35 Village Center stores and 7 restaurants. Ballots will be available in all Village Center stores.

To be part of the Holiday Tree competition or for additional information call 631-751-2244 or visit

Photo Credit:  WMHO