Lou Joe, the Roslyn Heights eatery specializing in “a unique blend of various Asian cuisines,” closed in November of last year before reopening the following month with a new chef. Now it has shuttered again.
A sign posted on the door announces that the restaurant is closed for remodeling, although attempts to confirm this were unsuccessful. (A couple intending to dine there on a recent evening expressed disappointment upon seeing the sign. "I wanted Chinese and he wanted Japanese," the woman said.)
The eatery’s troubled journey began auspiciously in late 2017 when Lou Joe opened at 255 Willis Ave., just south of the Long Island Expressway, in a space formerly occupied by two other Asian eateries, Opera House and To Fu, as well as a Howard Johnson's. In a 2-1/2-star review by Newsday in January of the following year, Peter Gianotti wrote that “when chef Sato Cheuk prepares his omakase, or tasting menu, Lou Joe is transformed into a high-voltage showcase seasoned with imagination and delivered with pointillist precision.” Later that year, it was named to Newsday’s Top 100 restaurant list.
Last November, however, news arrived that Lou Joe had closed temporarily for renovations. When it reopened the following month, Cheuk was no longer with the restaurant, having been replaced by chef Flaming Ma. The menu, a mix of Japanese, Sichuan, traditional Chinese and Chinese-American dishes, did not change, although all-day dim sum was added. The restaurant remained open and popular with diners until last week.
“You will experience a delightful journey throughout history while enjoying our food,” reads the still-live website. The journey has certainly been an eventful one, though Lou Joe’s delights may well be in the past.