"Regretfully, after 17 wonderful years, Minado in Carle Place will close permanently on March 2, 2020."
When the owners of Minado Japanese Seafood Buffet announced their closure via a Sunday night Facebook post, it provoked the equivalent of a group dirge. Nearly 90 people chimed in, most of them with deep lament ("This is too sad …" read one post; "devastated," "nooooo!" and strings of sad emojis also appeared). Dozens of people shared the post over the next few hours, rendering it viral in a hyperlocal way.
Seventeen years is a long run, especially for a place as giant and all-encompassing as Minado. Inside the huge, almost Vegas-like dining room, patrons paid between $18 and $35 for unbridled access to stations serving sushi, hibachi, ramen, soba noodles, robatayaki, oysters and dessert. But since all-you-can-eat sushi is not exactly scarce on Long Island, what made Minado special?
"I have been going there since my two friends, who are doctors, took me there, and we go there every year for my birthday," said Matt Umbenhower of Ronkonkoma. His particular loves about the place? "The huge selection of sushi, the fondue of chocolate and the big selection of hot foods. The staff was always nice."
Minado's post went on to offer a glimmer of hope: ".. when one door closes, another opens. So please stay tuned for what's next!" it read. Reached later, the owners of Minado said they are planning a new restaurant in the same space, Spring Shabu-Shabu. Though they had planned to close Minado later in spring, they said via email that "due to the unforeseen and immediate impact the spread of the coronavirus has had on our business, we were unable to keep our doors open for a proper farewell."
Minado occupied the same plaza where Penzeys Spices closed three years ago, and where Stew Leonard's Wine & Spirits still operates, among other businesses.