A Big Red Tomato has sprouted in Haverstraw Village. Reyes “Ray” Dominguez, a long-time Haverstraw resident, has created his most recent venture, The Big Red Tomato at 9 Main Street, right across from Lucas Candies. The new bar and grill boasts a tasty fusion of Latin, American, and international flavors. Ray has come a long way since his immigration from Mexico years ago. His story is an inspiration for us all, and the true entrepreneurial spirit of the Big Red Tomato is bright.
Ray lives the American Dream.
Driven by his will to succeed in America, the absolute global Capital of Opportunity, Ray Dominguez started small – he was a dishwasher at the New City Diner on Route 59. He made his rounds at several local golf course eateries, including Rotella Golf Course’s Bogie’s and at Spook Rock Golf Course. Ray made his “Head Chef” debut at the Rainbow Grill, just before heading to a top chef position at Civile’s Restaurant in Emeline Park in the Village of Haverstraw. Then he made his way to the former Bricktown Brewery as an additional chef for that restaurant. Ray was able to save his money earned, and soon opened Broadway Pizza – a hit among the pizza joints of the Village. Over the years, Ray developed multiple skills, required to save money and make some extra money on the side.
Ray’s carpentry skills are forefront. Ray opened Broadway Home Improvement, a company that offers carpentry, painting, and other home services. The fine woodwork of the Big Red Tomato bar and wall paneling is immediately apparent as one enters the restaurant. The bar area is composed of large, mitered moulding pieces of dark grained wood. Mr. Dominguez is a driven entrepreneur in every way.
When Ray bought the multi-story, mixed-use building at 9 Main Street a few years ago, he dreamed up the concept of a higher-end restaurant where he could experiment with his culinary skills and offer fine drinks at a bar setting. The patch of earth behind 9 Main offered a fine, sunny spot for growing tomatoes – big, red, delicious tomatoes. Ray would cultivate his tomato plants all summer, using the ingredients in his sauce at Broadway Pizza, another ingenious way to cut down on operating costs. This brings another meaning to “local food.” The name of his dream restaurant was soon born: The Big Red Tomato.
I haven’t even spoken about the food yet.
The food is wonderful. Ray combines various nationalities and cultures, as if his menu were a microcosm of the Village itself. Mexican Eggrolls, my favorite, are deliciously crispy and bursting with flavor. Again, the menu is expansive and varied, so you’ll more than likely find something that suits your taste – it’s a safe bet. With the departure of Bricktown Brewery, I’m very excited that there’s finally a restaurant in the Village that picks up the slack of offering a high-quality, wide range of tastes at an affordable price.
HaverstrawLife welcomes the Big Red Tomato to the Village. Ray Dominguez will continue to act as a foundation for the community – his drive and spirit has already brought so much to downtown Haverstraw, and he will only continue to offer more excitement and positive change to an ever changing Village.
The Big Red Tomato
9 Main Street, Haverstraw, New York
Open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 11pm