The Lantern Diner, West Hempstead
One of Long Island's few remaining 24-hour diners closed after nearly 60 years in business. The diner was profitable until COVID, owner Socrates Fokas said, but had fallen into financial hardship. After decades in the restaurant industry, "I’m done, I’m very relaxed and I don’t want my headaches any more," he said.
Shiro of Japan, Carle Place
Long Island’s oldest Japanese restaurant closed its doors in February after the owners of the building chose not to renew the eatery's lease. When Shiro opened in 1973, the term “hibachi” was not yet in common use: Newsday’s first mention of the restaurant described the scene: “the huge knife went clip-clop, the shrimp sizzled, the steak bits browned … and the chef flipped them onto dishes.” This was six years before Benihana of Tokyo opened in Manhasset. Over the years, Shiro expanded into catering and food service, supplying sushi to cafeterias all over the metropolitan area.
The Jolly Fisherman, Roslyn
After 66 years in Roslyn, this iconic seafood spot closed in June. The closure marked the end of an era, not only for the Scheiner family, which presided over the institution since 1957, but for Long Island diners. Of the classic, old-school seafood houses that once dotted the local landscape, it was the lone survivor. New York City Italian restaurant Pietro's has taken over the spot.
Honu Kitchen & Cocktails, Huntington
Honu Kitchen & Cocktails, one of Huntington Village’s longest-standing hot spots, closed in August after 21 years. Anthony Geraci, one of the new owners taking over the space, confirmed the restaurant will be getting a total rebranding.
PeraBell Food Bar, Patchogue
PeraBell Food Bar, one of the restaurants that spearheaded downtown Patchogue’s revival, closed in August. “Business hasn’t recovered 100% since COVID,” said co-owner John Peragine, “and costs have eaten up any profits we would make. We decided to sell after not coming to terms with our landlord on our 10-year option."
Village Heros, Syosset
Established in 1972, this shop had been a fixture of the Syosset community for 51 years. With its bright yellow sign and oversized meatball, chicken parm and Italian subs, it was a top pick for catered office lunches and Super Bowl parties in the area.
Saravanaa Bhavan, Hicksville
Saravanaa Bhavan, one of Hicksville's most distinctive Indian restaurants, closed in July. The menu, which featured more than 100 dishes, provided a broad tour of the fertile vegetarian cuisine of South India. It excelled with dosas and uttapams, vegetable curries, street foods, clay-oven and fried breads and thalis, whole multicourse meals served on shiny round trays. It was a fixture on Newsday’s Top 100 restaurants list.
Steven's Pasta, Long Beach
Steven's Pasta, one of Long Beach’s longest-running restaurants, closed in August. Chef-partner Steven Guasco announced he was shutting the eatery. “I’ve reached retirement age, 65,” he said. “But in restaurant years, I’m more like 110. I have loved this experience, but I know there are other experiences to explore while I still have my health and I remain hungry.”
Pastrami King, Merrick
Pastrami King, one of Long Island’s last surviving kosher-style delis, served its last pastrami sandwich in 2023. Owner Joe Yamali said that his 20-year lease in Merrick was up, and that he was unable to come to terms to extend it. With the distinctive crown logo printed on its awning, the capacious restaurant stood out on Merrick Road. It was opened in 2002 by Joe’s father, Abe Yamali, who had, back in the 1970s and '80s, owned the original Pastrami King in Kew Gardens.
News Stand Deli, Melville
With so many industrial parks around Melville, the centrally located News Stand Deli at the corner of Baylis and Walt Whitman roads was a popular coffee, breakfast, lunch spot for working locals. Known for its vast menu with ample seating and parking, it became a casualty of the post-pandemic shift to remote and hybrid work, closing its doors in late September.
Le Soir, Bayport
From duck à l'orange to cassoulet, Le Soir was among the few truly French restaurants on Long Island, holding court for more than 45 years in a country-style abode along Montauk Highway in Bayport. Owner Janina Kaziewicz said the restaurant, which was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2012, was first opened in 1977.
18 Bay, Shelter Island
Since they opened their Shelter Island restaurant in 2011, Adam Kopels and Elizabeth Ronzetti have always closed for the winter. But this spring, 18 Bay did not reopen. “We thought about it long and hard,” Kopels said. “After the new year, we decided to take a sabbatical. We needed a break.” 18 Bay was a mainstay on Newsday’s annual Top 100 restaurants list and Kopels and Ronzetti are two of only four local chefs who have been named James Beard Award semifinalists.