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The biggest Long Island restaurant closures of 2019

Here are some of 2019's most notable closings.

Butera’s

A baked ravioli dish at Butera's restaurant in
Credit: Adrian Fussell

Butera's, Smithtown: This Italian restaurant,  known for its ample portions of Italian-American favorites, closed in July. Co-owner Martin Butera said there are plans to open a new, "more contemporary" location in Bay Shore in early 2020. 

Carlo’s Bakery

Buddy Valastro has closed his Carlo's Bakery in
Credit: Getty Images for Vegas Uncork'd/Ethan Miller

Carlo's Bakery, Garden City: "Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro closed the Garden City location of his bakery in August. Four of Valastro's New Jersey bakeries have also closed within the last two years.

Famous Toastery

Famous Hash is pictured at Famous Toastery in
Credit: Barry Sloan

Famous Toastery, Commack: This breakfast chain closed its only Long Island location after one year in business. "While it didn't work out, we are proud of the food and service we provided over the past year," wrote founders Robert Maynard and Brian Burchil, childhood best friends who grew up in Centereach and opened the original Famous Toastery in Huntersville, North Carolina, in 2005.

Local diners

Diner Luxe on Hempstead Turnpike in Bethpage has
Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

At least four local diners closed in 2019, starting with the 90-year-old Lynbrook Diner in March, followed by Bethpage's Diner Luxe in May, The Franklin Square Diner in June and Hauppague's Paradise Diner in December. Despite the closures, Long Island still boasts one of the highest concentrations of diners in the country, with about 100 remaining in Nassau and Suffolk.

Brasserie Cassis

French onion soup served at Brasserie Cassis in
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Brasserie Cassis, Plainview: This restaurant, known for its savory French fare, closed and was replaced by Craft American Bar & Bistro, a casual American spot serving burgers, Southern fried chicken and more.

Bertucci’s

Margherita pizza, made with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce,
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Bertucci's, Melville: The last Long Island location of this popular Italian chain, known for its brick-oven pizzas and generous portions of pastas,  closed in April.

LL Dent

Leisa Dent, with mother, Lillian, hold some of
Credit: Linda Rosier/Linda Rosier

LL Dent, Carle Place: This restaurant serving Southern-style favorites closed in January after 13 years in business. Co-owner Leisa Dent cited the rising cost of food and labor as the reason for the closure.

Craft House

A burger with melted Cheddar cheese, mustard and
Credit: David L. Pokress

Craft House, Freeport: This gastropub, which sought to elevate the Nautical Mile's prevailing standards with an ambitious New American menu, craft beer and cocktails, closed after one season.

Grey Horse Tavern

The Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport will close
Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Grey Horse Tavern, Bayport: This farm-to-table restaurant located inside a historic building closed in June after almost 12 years in business. It reopened as gastropub JT's Farmhouse in November, serving a seasonal comfort-food menu.

Nagashima

Nagashima Japanese Restaurant in Jericho offers daily menu
Credit: Doug Young

Nagashima, Jericho: This Japanese restaurant, one of Long Island's top sushi spots, closed after almost 30 years in business.

 

Publicans

The eight-ounce Publican Burger comes wedged in a
Credit: Linda Rosier

Publicans, Manhasset:  This classic bar, immortalized in J.R. Moehringer's 2005 memoir "The Tender Bar," closed two years after transforming into a polished gastropub.

Wild Flours Bake Shop

Wild Flours bake shop in Huntington specializes in
Credit: Newsday/Nicole Horton

Wild Flours Bake Shop, Huntington: This gluten-free bakery, which distinguished itself with muffins, cakes and quiches made without dairy products or refined sugars, closed after 10 years in business.

Friendly's

Friendly's in Levittown and Franklin Square have closed.
Credit: FIC Restaurants, Inc.

Friendly's: Three Long Island locations of this popular chain shuttered in 2019. The Middle Island location closed in May, followed by Levittown in September and Franklin Square in October. Sixteen local locations remain open.

Yao’s Diner

Cumin lamb was a specialty at Yao's Diner
Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Yao's Diner, Centereach: This eatery, one of Long Island's top Chinese restaurants, closed seven years after becoming a local pioneer of authentic Sichuan cuisine.

MP Taverna

Michael Psilakis dishes up Greek food at MP
Credit: MP Taverna

MP Taverna, Roslyn: Michael Psilakis, the Franklin Square native who catapulted to culinary fame with a series of swank Greek restaurants in and around New York City, shuttered his only Long Island property in March.

R.S. Jones

At RS Jones restaurant in Merrick, a feathered
Credit: Jin Lee

R.S. Jones, Merrick: This rollicking Western-themed Cajun restaurant closed after 26 years in business, but found new life when owners Carole Olkoski and Margaret Mueller partnered with Lisa Livermore (the owner of closed Cajun spot The Bayou) to reopen the space as Bayou Jones in June. The new restaurant serves a menu combining items from both shuttered eateries.

Benny’s Ristorante

Bucatini con le sarde, thick pasta with sardines,
Credit: Johnny Simon

Benny's Ristorante, Westbury: This landmark Italian restaurant that earned a 4-star review closed in May after 32 years in business. 86-year-old owner Benny DiPietro said that his age, coupled with major illnesses in the family, prompted the decision. 

Bobby’s Burger Palace

The Crunchburger at Bobby's Burger Palace.
Credit: Yana Paskova

Bobby's Burger Palace, Garden City: This burger joint from celebrity chef Bobby Flay closed at Roosevelt Field mall after eight years in business. The only other Long Island location, at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, remains open.

Petra Grill

Hummus topped with chopped grilled lamb, sliced almonds,
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Petra Grill, Carle Place: This top-rated Mediterranean restaurant closed 18 months after opening. The owner cited a lack of business, particularly foot traffic, for the restaurant's closure.

Cork & Kerry

A Paloma and a Lucky #9 at Cork
Credit: Newsday/Corin Hirsch

Cork & Kerry, Farmingdale: This speakeasy, one of Long Island's top-tier cocktail bars, closed after 18 months in business. Other locations in Floral Park and Rockville Centre remain open.

The Whale’s Tale

The nautical decor of Whale's Tail Chowder House
Credit: Ian J Stark

The Whale's Tale, Long Beach: This seafood restaurant and sports bar was a fixture of Long Beach's West End for decades, and one of dozens of businesses swamped by superstorm Sandy in 2012. After being gutted and reopened, the spot continued to serve brunch, lunch and dinner until it closed in August.

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