An overstuffed Maine lobster roll at DJ's Clam Shack in...

An overstuffed Maine lobster roll at DJ's Clam Shack in Wantagh. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

DJ’s Clam Shack, a pioneering lobster roll specialist, has closed in East Northport. That leaves the original location, which opened in Wantagh in 2017, as well as Huntington (operated by a franchisee) and Stony Brook, both of which opened in 2021. 

Owner Paul Riggio attributed the closure to a constellation of factors. “It was the lowest-performing store,” he said. “But I also lost my manager and couldn’t replace him, and I’m getting older — I decided I need to take it down a notch.”

Come spring, however, he’ll be taking it back up a notch: The DJ’s Clam Shack Truck should be ready to launch in the next few weeks. It will be parked in Stony Brook, but Riggio plans to use it to push his brand farther east. “Wherever the East End party or festival is, that’s where the truck will be.”

When DJ’s debuted on Long Island in 2017, lobster rolls were not yet available at convenience stores and chain eateries. Made with big hunks of knuckle and claw meat and butter-griddled top-split buns, they became social-media darlings, landed on Newsday's first list of great local lobster rolls and propelled the restaurant to multiple locations on Long Island and in Florida. (In fact, the Wantagh location was itself a North-meets-South spinoff of DJ’s Clam Shack in Key West, made semifamous in 2014 by Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”)

Riggio had no idea the lobster roll would be such a hit. After all, he named the restaurant after clams, and it does a fine job with chowder, fried Ipswich clams and the steamed middle necks with garlic bread that Fieri called “the real deal.” Now, he figures “lobster rolls are about half our business.”

DJ’s in Stony Brook will be accepting gift cards from East Northport. 

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