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Business is booming for owner of Smithtown restaurant Luso

Luisa Batista, 57, of St. James, opened Luso

Luisa Batista, 57, of St. James, opened Luso in Smithtown four years ago, but is now moving her restaurant to a bigger location on Main Street. (March 20, 2013) Credit: Tara Conry

The roughly 30 vacant stores along Smithtown’s Main Street are signs of businesses that did not succeed. However, Luisa Batista’s restaurant, Luso, has been so successful since the St. James woman, 57, opened it four years ago that it has outgrown its current space at 101 E. Main Street. On March 29, Batista, a native of Portugal, will be holding the grand reopening for her restaurant at its new home at 133 W. Main Street.

Why did you choose Smithtown to open your restaurant?

I love this town. I like everything. They take care of the streets. I love the people. They are very nice and very friendly.

What kind of cuisine do you serve?

It’s Portuguese but it’s also American. We have the rodizio from Brazil. Everything is barbecued on the grill. A lot of fish and meats. We’re famous for our chicken. I used to have a place that sold 200 chickens a week.

Why have you decided to move?

When I came in over here I knew it was going to be too small for me, but I was in the middle of a crazy divorce and I didn’t want to spend much money. So I opened small but now it’s too small for me. On a Saturday night, 40 people have got to wait. I put a lot of money into this place and I don’t want to move it, but I have no choice because I’m losing business over here.

How much bigger is the new restaurant compared to your current location?

This one seats 50 inside plus 60 outside. Over there, I have 270 seats, but I’m only going to put maybe 130 or 150 because I don’t want it to get out of control.

What have your customers been saying about your imminent move?

They say this is going to be the big thing in Smithtown, because they all want to come but it’s too small. They are all very excited.

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