Louie's Charcoal Pit in Teaneck, a diner that served customers on Cedar Lane for decades, closed “indefinitely” Sunday night.
“Our sincerest gratitude to all of our patrons who have supported us over the many years. We will miss you and we wish you all of the best in the future,” said a message posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page Sunday afternoon.
Louie’s owner Gerry Stamatelatos bought the diner in 1972, and another owner had previously run the well-known restaurant under the same name. In 2008, Louie’s was .
While the future for the diner's owners remained unclear, Dino Stamatelatos has said he would likely launch another restaurant in New Jersey.
"I always said to myself, if I left, how do I build something new when this place is all I know? That is the frustrating part for me," he said in the 2010 interview. "I really don't know."
Stamatelatos could not be immediately reached Sunday. One diner employee said the news came as a shock, but could not provide details. The restaurant closed at 9 p.m. Sunday, according to the announcement.
As the news spread, diner fans flooded Facebook with memories and sad farewells to the longtime local hangout.
"We will miss you so much! So many late night memories!" one Facebook user wrote.
"One of our last Teaneck originals," another comment said.
Louie’s is the latest high-profile Cedar Lane merchant to close in recent weeks. The historic Cedar Lane Cinemas shut down late last month, prompting fears that other nearby businesses would see less customers and could also be forced to shut down.
The message from Louie's:
Dear friends, supporters, and loyal patrons it is with deep regret that we must announce that Louie’s Charcoal Pit will be closed indefinitely effective 9pm this evening December 9, 2012. Our sincerest gratitude to all of our patrons who have supported us over the many years. We will miss you and we wish you all of the best in the future. ~The Louie’s Family.