In a surprising turn of events, Lawson Pub, the subject of Friday's two-star dining review by Newsday's Peter M. Gianotti, has abruptly closed.
The restaurant, owned by executive chef Joseph Bonacore, was sold to Butera's, an Italian restaurant with branches in Woodbury, Smithtown and Sayville. Co-owner Martin Butera said he hopes to open the new Oceanside location on or around June 16 after making some minor changes to the interior. He added that many members of the Lawson Pub staff will be staying on.
Lawson Pub, near the Oceanside LIRR station, first opened in 2011. The place made a swift comeback following damage from superstorm Sandy in 2012. Then, in late fall of 2014, Bonacore changed the gastropub's name to Fiamma and gave it an Italianate identity. It reverted back to its original state as Lawson Pub in early 2015 because of what Bonacore then termed a "legal obligation."
Reached for comment on Friday, Bonacore said he decided to take a break from the restaurant business for a while. "I needed a rest," he said. "It's been a long four years."