Peppercorns restaurant on East Marie Street in Hicksville is closing on...

Peppercorns restaurant on East Marie Street in Hicksville is closing on Aug. 1. Credit: Newsday/James Carbone

Peppercorns restaurant, a Hicksville institution for more than 40 years and to many in town, a place akin to a certain storied TV sitcom set in a Boston bar, says “cheers” forever in a matter of weeks, according to the owners.

The East Marie Street eating, catering and meeting establishment, which first opened its doors under previous owners in 1983, will close them for the final time on Aug. 1, said James Madden, who co-owns the restaurant with Massapequa resident Sean Costello.

“Since COVID, we’ve lost a lot of customers,” said Madden, 42, of Merrick. The owner of the building, which Madden said is more than 130 years old, made the business partners an offer they “couldn’t pass up.”

Madden declined to share details of the offer or say what may become of the restaurant once it's closed.

Stepping away from the restaurant business, said Madden, who like Costello, has young children, will, among other things, allow him see his daughters before they go to bed at night for the first time in a long time.

The restaurant has welcomed thousands of guests and employed hundreds over the years, according to announcements of the impending closure posted to Peppercorns’ social media accounts Saturday.

“It’s a tragic loss to the community,” said Charles Razenson, president of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. “There's a lot of history inside the building and it's where we hold a lot of our meetings.”

It’s also where many other community meetings are held, he said.

And like “Cheers,” the NBC sitcom about a bar filled with a collection of colorful characters, Peppercorns had its share, added Razenson, a Hicksville resident and business owner.

He described the restaurant as warm and friendly, a welcoming place where staff greet regular customers by name.

“I was planning our installation dinner there for December and now I have to scramble and look for a new location,” said Razenson, 71. “It’s going to be a hard venue to replace.”

Peppercorns was originally opened by late Wantagh resident Edward Restivo in 1983. He had sold his first restaurant, The White Whale in Seaford, the year before, said his widow, Pat Restivo.

From the beginning, the restaurant and catering hall hosted everything from funerals to weddings, said Restivo, 71. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and “decided it was time to sell in 2017.”

Within a month of starting work as a bartender at Peppercorns in 2013, Madden said, Edward Restivo was “cornering” him to ask if he’d be interested in buying the restaurant. He said yes and embarked on the venture with Costello, who also worked at Peppercorns at the time.

Peppercorns was “more than a job” to Edward Restivo, who died in 2022, said Pat Restivo, who said she has “a lot of memories” of the restaurant.

“I go past it all the time and look at it,” she said. “I’m sorry to see it go.”

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