The Good Steer in Lake Grove.

The Good Steer in Lake Grove. Credit: James Carbone

Tenure is no salve against rising expenses and changing habits. Several longtime Long Island restaurants closed this year as their owners continued to deal with sky-high costs of raw ingredients, labor shortages and the continued loss of lunch rush patrons who no longer visited from nearby corporate offices. Some family-owned restaurants closed outlier locations, while other owners retired from the grind. 

Plainview Diner

Plainview Diner has served its last Western omelet, Swiss cheeseburger and spinach pie. After 50 years on Old Country Road, owner John Papavasilopoulos retired. John met his wife, Anna, at the diner — she was a server, and he proposed to her in the parking lot — and when the two had children, Niko and Pam also joined the business.

Plain pancakes topped with butter and syrup at the Plainview...

Plain pancakes topped with butter and syrup at the Plainview Diner. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Aegean Pizza (Holbrook)

From the outside, the Sun Vet Mall along Sunrise Highway in Holbrook looks almost lost to time — its signage weathered, many of its storefronts shuttered, the parking lot mostly empty. Aegean was one of the last holdouts, drawing a line by the dozens during its final days of patrons in front of the counter or waiting patiently next to a towering stack of pizza boxes for one last meal in the back dining room.

Hooks & Chops (Commack)

A top destination for seafood and steaks, Hooks & Chops shuttered abruptly due to what head chef and owner Steven Del Lima called "unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances." It had opened in late 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mara's Southern Kitchen (Syosset)

After 11 years, the owners of the restaurant serving Cajun and Creole specialties plus traditional Southern dishes, Arkansas-style barbecue and homemade desserts including Mardi Gras king cakes said they could no longer sustain the business amid a labor shortage, rising costs and dwindling office lunch crowds. “We can’t do this anymore,” said Mara Levi, who ran the spot with her son, Josh. “We are burnt out.”

Cork & Kerry (Rockville Centre)

Known for innovative mixed drinks — many conceived by co-owner and beverage director Doug Brickel — it was the last remaining Cork & Kerry of a triumvirate that once included spots in Floral Park and Farmingdale, all of them concealed in one way or another. In Rockville Centre, it was within a quiet-from-the-outside old Colonial in the heart of the village's busy commercial district.

The "Breakfast Old Fashioned" at Cork & Kerry.

The "Breakfast Old Fashioned" at Cork & Kerry. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Nicky's on the Bay (Bay Shore)

When the restaurant first opened at the end of Bay Shore Marina Park in 2004, it had sweeping views of the water and 16 seats. Eighteen years, several expansions and 600-plus seats later, 2022 was the last summer season for owner Nick Parini, who is turning over the keys to another lessee.

The Carltun at Eisenhower Park (East Meadow)

After nearly three decades of weddings, wine dinners and fundraisers — as well as hosting two presidents, one secretary of state and other politicians aplenty — The Carltun in Eisenhower Park took a bow at the end of September. An auction of china, silverware and décor items soon followed.

The Good Steer (Lake Grove)

Known for its burgers, barbecue and onion rings since 1957, The Good Steer shut its doors in July citing rising costs of ingredients and soaring real estate taxes. Its roadside sign featuring a cartoon-style cow has long been a dose of nostalgia for those traveling Middle Country Road.

Mighty Quinn's BBQ (Garden City)

It was the first franchise operation for the New York-based smokehouse founded in 2011 by pitmaster Hugh Mangum and was among Long Island's best barbecue restaurants. Those craving Mighty Quinn’s signature brisket or mac and cheese can still find them during events at UBS Arena in Elmont.

Spare ribs at Mighty Quinn’s BBQ in Garden City.

Spare ribs at Mighty Quinn’s BBQ in Garden City. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Five Pennies Creamery (Rockville Centre)

Open for 12 years, the old-fashioned ice cream counter was a destination for Coney Island custard layered with Italian fruit ices to make their signature Cyclone, named for the famous roller coaster. Egg creams were made with Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup and seltzer from old-fashioned siphons.“I’m 69 and I’m tired,” said owner Dan Levine, who kept the spot open after moving upstate. “And driving three hours a day is just too much.”

Poultry Mart (Great Neck)

It was a 72-year run for this chicken institution serving rotisserie/fried/barbecued chicken along with gargantuan baked sweet potatoes, kasha varnishkes, knishes, kugel, stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, coleslaw, chopped liver and carrot-raisin salad. It closed its doors in late July.

Pomodorino Rosso (Valley Stream)

The Southern Italian pizza and pasta spot with an outdoor dining area was yet another victim of labor shortage, said owner Antonio Bove. Patron favorites such as linguine with shrimp, pesto and burrata and “spaghetti pomodorino,” which features pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes in a hollowed-out wheel of Grana Padano, live on at its sister restaurant, Uva Rosa in Malverne.

David's Cookies (Roosevelt Field/Walt Whitman Shops)

Mall shoppers' nostalgia for the decades-old cookie chain was short-lived as kiosks selling signature chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and returned to Long Island in 2020 before closing this year.

An M & M cookie from David's Cookies.

An M & M cookie from David's Cookies. Credit: David's Cookies/Laura Bissell

Morrison's (Plainview)

The family-owned gastropub had a 10-year run in Plainview before shuttering this fall in what was attributed in part to a staffing shortage. Its sister restaurant, Jackson’s in Commack, lives on.

Spicy’s Bar-B-Que (Riverhead)

A Riverhead landmark since 1976, Spicy's was the spot for fried chicken, which could be ordered "dipped" in barbecue sauce or plain, as well as its fried shrimp, fish and chips, barbecued ribs and macaroni and cheese.

Sweet to Lick Vegan Bakery (Williston Park)

LI's first vegan bakery, Sweet to Lick was run by Michael Sabet, who started out selling vegan treats at farmers markets before opening the shop in 2013. His initial goal was not only to serve vegan customers, but to provide plant-based desserts that even non-vegans craved.

Clementine's Plant-Based Deli & Bakery (Sayville)

Vegan apple tarts, empanadas and soft serve ice cream were among the meat- and dairy-free staples at Clementine's, run by the mother-daughter team Cira and Chloe Jones.

Vegan enchiladas at Clementine's Plant-Based Deli & Bakery in Sayville.

Vegan enchiladas at Clementine's Plant-Based Deli & Bakery in Sayville. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Texicana Grill (Bellmore)

After 15 years of serving Bellmore and its environs a refined version of Tex-Mex, Texicana closed in what owner Steven Scopelitis said was an unprecedented swirl of labor and ingredient shortages snowballing with rising expenses.

Rangsit 11 (Hicksville)

 From drunken noodles to crab rangoon, this excellent spot served up many Thai staples in a memorable if tiny dining room trimmed with a pressed-tin ceiling, copper-colored fans and walls covered in colorfully patterned canvases.

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