Ahi tuna BLT tacos at Zim Zari California Coastal Grill...

Ahi tuna BLT tacos at Zim Zari California Coastal Grill in Massapequa Park. Credit: Jeremy Bales

Nearly a year after the death of its founder, Keith Giannadeo, Zim Zari California Coastal Grill in Massapequa Park has closed. When the closure was announced on Facebook, scores of posters shared their dismay — and gratitude.

"Zim Zari wasn’t just a restaurant," wrote Kathy Ann Falbo of Massapequa, a longtime customer who became a friend of the Giannadeo family. "It was a landmark and home to so many families. Keith’s extraordinary hospitality, and million dollar smile will be missed, but no doubt his legacy lives on in the hearts and memories of his friends and family and all his loyal customers."

Zim Zari opened in the Southgate Shopping Center on Merrick Road in 2009. In her 2½ -star review, Newsday’s Joan Reminick wrote: "All I can say is that I like this snappy-looking spot with its blue neon-lit bar, hanging surfboards, beach-centric murals and flat-screen TVs. And let's not forget the fresh Cal-Mex fare."

After the 50-year-old Giannadeo died suddenly last February, his sisters, Stacey Zuccala and Faith Bernard, took over the restaurant. "We wanted to keep the staff, clear all the accounts and find a new owner," Zuccala said. A new operator has indeed taken over the space; stay tuned for details on the beach-themed taqueria VIDA.

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