Great Neck Diner co-owner Rorie Miller poses with NBC's "Law &...

Great Neck Diner co-owner Rorie Miller poses with NBC's "Law & Order: Organized Crime" actor Christopher Meloni during a break from filming the show. Credit: Great Neck Diner

If the diner in one of three upcoming episodes of “Law & Order: Organized Crime” looks familiar to the denizens of Great Neck, it’s because that’s the Great Neck Diner, at the corner of Bond Street and Grace Avenue. The NBC police procedural starring Christopher Meloni filmed there on Jan. 29 and Feb. 6, with a third shoot scheduled for Wednesday.

“I know! I'm closed on Valentine's Day!” says diner co-owner Rorie Miller, laughing. “But it’s OK. It's just a true honor to appear in one of their episodes, let alone three of their episodes thus far.” None has yet aired. The show has run four episodes since returning for season 4 last month. The next one scheduled, "Missing Persons," on Feb. 22, includes the diner, as does the one on Feb. 29. One or both episodes also will include scenes shot in Port Washington and Lido Beach.

The series, a spinoff of the long-running “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” stars Meloni as NYPD Det. Elliot Stabler, who when “L&O: Organized Crime” premiered in 2021 had just rejoined the force after a decade, following the death of his wife in a car bombing meant for him. Becoming part of the elite Organized Crime Control Bureau, he has worked to rebuild his life while helping to dismantle New York City's criminal syndicates.

Meloni was among the actors in the diner scenes, says Miller, 41, of Port Washington, who with her father, Mike Wach, owns the 13-year-old eatery at the site of the 1951-founded luncheonette/newsstand/tobacconist Fredrick’s, which closed in 2007. The first shoot also included, she said, guest performer Rafi Silver, who plays a character named Carter Reid.

Meloni, who posed for Facebook photos with the diner owners, was “a very good sport, very gracious, very humble and nice,” Miller says. “A couple of passersby caught him outside and he took pictures willingly with them. Very nice guy.”

Some of the diner’s actual food, rather than artificial prop food, made it on-screen, says Miller “Our two cooks prepared things from egg platters to burgers deluxe to falafel sandwiches to triple-decker clubs. It was just there for background,” she notes. Meloni “had food in front of him, but it’s just there. Maybe the background people were picking at it, but I don't know if anyone was actually eating.”

All three shoots will have taken place in the daytime, although with the second, she says, “They made it look like nighttime inside — they blacked out the windows.” And as usual for a major network series, the crew restored everything afterward so completely, “It’s like no one was here. And more than a hundred people were here all day long.” The crew was so impeccable, she says, “They changed literally every light bulb in the diner.”

This is not the first time the Great Neck Diner has appeared on a network drama. CBS’ “Elementary,” starring Lucy Liu, filmed there on March 5, 2015. The New York City-produced “Law & Order: Organized Crime” has shot on Long Island, including at the Port Washington restaurant then named Louie's Grill & Liquors on Feb. 18, 2021.

Top Stories

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months