Raay-Nor’s is making a comeback, a nice crunchy surprise if you enjoyed the roadside joint’s southern fried chicken, served in generous portions inside a faux log cabin in Baldwin from 1949 until the mid-aughts.
The restaurant closed around 2005 and the log cabin became a Mediterranean restaurant, but the chicken – served fried, boiled or Maryland style – will crunch again for one week and possibly longer beginning Monday.
With one of the original chefs at the fryer, and sweet and sticky ham steaks, corn fritters and biscuits also on the menu, Raay-Nor’s chicken will reappear from Aug. 7 to 13 at Maliblue Oyster Bar, part of the Town of Hempstead’s concession in Lido Beach. .
At a special event on Monday, Aug. 7, from noon to 2 p.m., Raay-Nor’s former employees will serve chicken at 15 cents a piece, 25 cents for a slice of pie. A cup of coffee will be 5 cents. A display of cars and Guy Lombardo music will help set the nostalgic mood.
Restaurateur Butch Yamali, who also revived Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park, says he plans to add a Raay-Nor’s menu at the Milleridge Inn, another historic property in Jericho.
With its chicken-shaped lamps and limited menu, Raay-Nor’s “was a hokey place, but a good place,” Yamali said. “It was comfort food – ham steak, Maryland chicken, homemade pies.” He said his daughters, now grown, were regular customers when they were kids.
For the revival, Yamali tracked down Robert Organ, one of the original cooks, and flew him from Texas to recreate the recipes. The original recipes were tasted and approved by Yamali’s mother and aunt, who had also dined at the original Raay-Nor’s.
Maliblue Oyster Bar, 1500 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach. 516-442-2799, maliblueoysterbar.com
*An earlier version of this story had an incorrect date for the 1949 price rollbacks. Organizers of the event have changed the date to today, Monday, Aug. 7, from noon to 2 p.m. at Maliblue in Lido Beach.