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Bobby's Burger Palace at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove shuttered by COVID-19

Chef Bobby Flay at his burger joint, Bobby's

Chef Bobby Flay at his burger joint, Bobby's Burger Palace, at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. Credit: NEWSDAY/Newsday/Alejandra Villa

The first link in Bobby Flay’s burger mini-chain has closed. Bobby’s Burger Palace, which opened in 2008 in Lake Grove’s Smith Haven Mall, has been shuttered due to COVID-19.

Is the closure temporary or permanent? Flay, who is one of the longest-running stars on Food Network and also owns a number of fine-dining restaurants around the country, responded:

“Making any permanent decisions in regards to any of my restaurants in the middle of a pandemic just wouldn’t be prudent. For the time being we are instilling the idea of extreme patience until the smoke clears from these unfortunate times. At this very moment there are no concrete plans to reopen BBP Lake Grove. If that changes we will let the community that has been so faithful to us there for the last 13 years know immediately.”

Flay chose Smith Haven Mall for his first Burger Palace because it was outside of the glare of but still close to Manhattan, his base of operations. It was the fulfillment of a longtime desire. “Chefs have funny dreams,” he told Newsday in 2008. "They may have a couple of four-star restaurants, but they fantasize about opening up a hot dog stand. A lot of them think that it's too late, that they're beyond that, but for me, it's the opposite: Now that I've gotten to this point, I can do the thing I crave the most — which is a cheeseburger, fries and a shake."

Long Island’s second Bobby’s Burger Palace, in Roosevelt Field, opened in 2011 and closed last year, at which time 13 locations remained open. Now, Burger Palaces at Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover, Maryland and at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut are open; an outlet in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is about to open. The other eight locations listed on the website are closed for at least the time being.

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