Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 408 of Netflix's...

Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 408 of Netflix's "You". view of Laurel Diner in Long Beach, Thursday, April 20, 2023. Credit: Netflix; Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The 92-year-old Laurel Diner in Long Beach got its close-up on Wednesday when the Netflix drama series “You” — about an obsessive romantic serial killer — filmed there. 

“They started unloading about 7 a.m. and they wrapped up a little after midnight,” says co-owner Andrew Loucas, 51, of Rockville Centre. “Maybe two months ago we got approached” by the show’s location department, “and then a few weeks after the first evaluation, they came back with a group of people. Then after that second visit, they determined that we were the place, and we got a call the very next day.”

The diner — bought by brothers Andrew and Peter Loucas and their now retired father, Chris Loucas, in 2006 and remodeled in 2014 to bring out its Art Deco grandeur — will likely go by its own name on the show, whose fifth and final season. is now in production. While businesses often get adorned with prop signage, “They kept our sign up,” Andrew Loucas says. “They actually also made uniforms with our logo on it and they asked for our permission to include the logo and we had to sign off on it. So there's a good chance we'll see it as the Laurel Diner.”

It was unclear if, despite the name, the episode takes place in Long Beach or elsewhere. The series, which had its first season on Lifetime in 2018 before moving to Netflix, originally was set in New York, and in subsequent seasons California and, most recently, London. But Long Island seems likely. “They were filming in Point Lookout as well,” Loucas says. “A home on the beach. And so they decorated the exterior of our diner to tie in with the beach theme as well.”

Footage was shot for two episodes, he believes, with two different directors, both women, helming different scenes. Representatives for Netflix and for production company Warner Bros. Television did not respond to Newsday requests for comment.

Penn Badgley, who stars as the erudite and psychotic Joe Goldberg, was on set. “My daughter and my wife are big fans of Penn, especially from ‘Gossip Girl,’” Loucas says. In addition to his wife and their 18-year-old daughter coming round for a few hours, so did their 21-year-old son, a film buff.

They knew not to disturb Badgley, who played Dan Humphrey on the 2007-12 series. “He’s a method actor and his character is a serial killer, so I guess it's pretty hard on him,” Loucas surmises. “You have to be in a certain mindset to play a stalker slash serial killer. So you don't want to interrupt him while he's in that frame of mind.”

While other productions have scouted the location, including what Loucas remembers as a Hugh Jackman project, the only previous film to shoot there was a 10-minute student short, “Fried Eggs and Toast” (2019). It wound up featuring him in a small role: Writer-director Jennifer Preshong “needed someone to serve food to a table and then say a sentence, and they had me do it,” he recalls. “And they ended up creating an IMDB profile for me!”

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