Long Island is one of the most populated areas of New York State, yet it surprisingly lacks in outlets for artists and performers. Essentially, in comparison to locations such as Brooklyn and Queens, Long Island is a challenging market for budding artists to break into. To combat this, Jeff Ceraso, the father of two artists, opened The Starving Artists Cafe & Gallery in Franklin Square. Since 2014, the venue has continuously offered gallery space for local creators that features art from a new maker every two weeks. Moreover, the cafe also hosts live theater, musical performances and even events such as psychic nights as well as serving up delicious foods, drinks, and desserts.


The cafe is located on Tulip Avenue, a well-maintained side street in Franklin Square, in a pleasant white house that is decorated with some cheerful and whimsical crafts which give it a homey and inviting feel. The gallery area is situated directly at the establishment’s center ensuring that the featured artwork is seen immediately upon entry. "We are a full-fledged restaurant and not just a place to have coffee," said owner Jeff Ceraso noting that the cafe has an impressively large menu which includes delicious desserts. "That said, we do offer a wide variety of coffee and tea flavors. We also offer dinner theater where we charge a flat rate for a full meal, a show and we even include the tip."


The Starving Artist Cafe aims to be a haven for the local arts, and thus far it has proven to be exceptionally successful; the venue is busy throughout the week and most weekends have events scheduled months in advance.

As per the visual artists, to have work featured, they must put their name on a waiting list...and exhibitions are currently booked through 2018. It is also worth noting that the cafe accepts all styles of art, from realistic to abstract. Jeff Ceraso originally got the idea to start the cafe because his children were artists who experienced the challenges of searching for locations in which to show their artwork.

Although not an artist himself, Jeff is proud to provide a place for local creators, who also happen to be his patrons, to display—and sell—their work. There is no fee to hang work, but the cafe takes a commission on all pieces sold and the artist who shows work must be a patron. "We give a portion of the proceeds to the National Art Education Association (NAEA) charity," Jeff explained.

"We understand the importance of giving back to the community and fostering local talent. We encourage anyone who is interested in showing art or booking a live event with us to visit our website and email us if our venue seems right for you."