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Our Story

Dragged to their older sisters' Girl Scout meeting by their mothers who were Girl Scout leaders, 4-year-old Donny Morris and 4-year-old Johnny Lombardi were bored. Trapped inside the stuffy cafeteria of an elementary school in Ardsley, New York watching a bunch of older girls work on their merit badges was no place for the rambunctious, young boys. Sensing this, Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Lombardi sent the boys outside to the playground. Sitting on a curb in front of the monkey bars, a lifelong friendship was formed. With the sun setting and the evening dew taking its place, the boys began to chase and unsuccessfully capture the magical fireflies who had made their first appearance of the season on that late spring evening. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, the boys remained close friends. They played Little League together. They were Boy Scouts and high school football and baseball teammates.

After high school, Don set off to various cities around the country to commence a career in the hospitality industry. John moved to New York City and opened a law practice. While apart, their brotherhood continued to grow. John visited Don at all of his restaurants throughout the country. Who can forget Don's visit to New York City soon after September 11, 2001 when everyone needed to heal. The memory of that somber walk from John's apartment to the World Trade Center will live on forever. 

Of course, there were vacations together with other high school pals. Also, the famous race. While enjoying a relaxing day at the beach on Long Beach Island, New Jersey with friends, Don and John got into an argument about who could run faster. The only way to settle the argument was to head down to the water's edge. In front of hundreds of beachgoers, the 37-year-old "men" sprinted 50 yards against one another. If you want to know who won the race, pull up a bar stool and grab a cocktail. John will be happy to tell you. 

When Covid came upon us, the guys knew we all needed healing again. With 50 years of kinship, dreams, love, and faith, Don and John embarked on a fact-finding mission to create a new beginning. A place where we could all gather to enjoy great food and great music. A place where we could all be together again with joy. With research and Don's 30 years of restaurant expertise, the guys came to Atlantic Beach and found a new home...and Firefly Bay was born.