A few years after Michael Mokretsov opened his first fencing studio in Brooklyn, he began scouting locations for a possible second location. Port Washington caught his eye, as he had several students from the area and wanted a place that wasn’t too far from his family’s home in Woodmere.
“For five years I had been looking for a place for another studio,” Mokretsov said. “I am very happy to open.”
On Wednesday, the New York Fencing Academy opened for business with a ribbon cutting at its Port Washington location at 8 Haven Ave., Suite LL3.
Mokretsov, who was born in Ukraine and emigrated to the United States on a fencing scholarship, has been teaching the sport for about a decade. An accomplished fencer himself, he has had several students near the top of the U.S. rankings since he opened his first studio in Brooklyn in 2010.
He said the Port community has been a big help since he started moving into the property.
“Right away they helped me with organizing the ribbon cutting and giving me pointers of where to advertise,” he said. “They were very helpful … I didn’t have to go to them and beg for attention.”
Local leaders and organizations were happy to have him.
“I was very excited to hear that a fencing studio was coming to Port and that they chose Port Washington as their home,” said Mariann Dalimonte, the executive director of the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District, one of several local officials in attendance.
Also in attendance was county Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove), Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne Wink, Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bobbie Polay and Bradley Diamond of Lee & Associates, who represents the building owners.
“This was the perfect space for them because it was previously a dance studio,” Diamond said. “We are excited to have him join the family of other health-focused tenants.”