Louie's Grill & Liquors in Port Washington. 

Louie's Grill & Liquors in Port Washington.  Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

One of Long Island’s oldest restaurants has new owners. Louie’s Grill & Liquors in Port Washington was recently purchased by partners Jerry Sbarro and Jorge Madruga. Both have lifelong ties to Port Washington and currently live in Sands Point.

Sbarro is the owner of Rothmann’s Steakhouse in East Norwich as well as six Matteo’s Italian restaurants on Long Island, in Queens and in Florida. "I’ve always loved Louie’s," he said. "And we are going to respect its tradition."

Louie’s was founded in 1905 by Louis Zwerlein as a cocktail-serving barge in Manhasset Bay. It moved shoreside during Prohibition and was expanded to its current footprint by the Zwerlein family who sold it in 2002. When Martin Picone and Mike Guinnane bought it, they changed its name to Louie’s Grill & Liquors.

For the time being, Sbarro and Madruga are planning to get their sea legs at the new property, keeping the existing menu and staff. Toward the end of the year, they plan to close for a few months and give it a complete overhaul, revamping the menu to make it the obverse of Rothmann’s: Whereas the steakhouse focuses on prime steaks but also serves high-quality seafood, Louie’s will focus on seafood plus a small selection of prime steaks.

Louie’s is at 395 Main St., Port Washington; 516-883-4242, louiessince1905.com

Top Stories

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access