THE PROPRIETORSChris Loucas of The Laurel, Long Beach NY

The Loucas family has been in the restaurant industry since 1969. Executive Chef, Chris Loucas, has successfully owned and operated multiple restaurants in New York City since 1973 while raising both of his sons Andrew and Peter Loucas in and around his restaurants. Chris Loucas began his career in the food industry 1969 when he first emigrated here from Cyprus. In four years he studied under numerous chefs while working as a kitchen aide saving every dime he earned. In 1973 Chris was able to break away to open his first restaurant in Manhattan which was named The Polonia Restaurant and was located on 97th Street and Madison Avenue. Chris also went on to co-own and operate the Venus Café and Restaurant, located at 252 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY and the Lexington Diner which was located on the corner of 28th Street and Lexington Avenue, New York, NY.

His sons, Andrew and Peter Loucas began working with their father since their early childhood. When they started junior high school, they would work every weekend until the summer—and instead of going away on vacation, that is when they went to work for their dad full-time. This schedule continued as they went to college. Their initial aspirations were not to pursue careers in the food industry therefore Peter Loucas graduated from Baruch College in 1997 with a BBA in accounting and Andrew Loucas earned an MBA from St. John’s University’s in 2002 and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic University in 1996. After college, Peter worked in the accounting field from 1997–2005 and Andrew went on to work for two capital equipment manufacturers during the years of 1996–2006.

Andrew, Peter, and Chris Loucas of The Laurel, Long Beach NYAfter working in corporate America, Andrew and Peter felt that corporate lifestyle was not for them. So after many years of wearing neckties, they took them off, rolled up their sleeves, and got back into the restaurant business with their father—but this time as equal business partners. So in January 2006, the father and sons purchased The Laurel Luncheonette and Restaurant, located at 300 West Park Ave, Long Beach, NY. And by putting pride into every dish they serve, they have reinvigorated the Laurel by bringing the real meaning of “family” to this family restaurant.

HISTORY OF The Laurel

The Laurel Luncheonette & Restaurant, once neighbor to the Laurel Theater and birth place of the Cherry Lime Rikki soft drink (named after previous co-owner, Rikki Pine), has been serving the public since 1932. Its nearly 80 year streak is a testament to the degree of customer satisfaction and loyalty which has kept the Laurel in operation for so long. It is a place where many Long Beach residents have fond, memorable experiences making an unofficial institution of the city of Long Beach that every visitor must see.

Customers at The Laurel, Long Beach NYSome remember the Laurel as being the place to buy candy and soda pop before going to the Laurel Theater because it was less expensive. For others, it was a place they took their first date and shared a banana split, ice-cream soda or a chocolate egg cream (which was served with a salted pretzel stick back then). And still for others it was the place they would seek shelter from the cold while awaiting the arrival of the school bus. But mostly, the Laurel was and still is, the spot where generations of families ritualized having their weekend breakfast—together, as one (without having to do the dishes). It is a place where families come for home a cooked meal, served by a friendly staff, at reasonable prices.

The Laurel—it has a rich history, but an even richer future. With a more diversified menu (serving breakfast, lunch and diner), and talented, personable personnel, the Laurel is not only a place of “old memories”, it has once again become the place to go for great local fare. If you’re ever in town, come, stop by, and see why all of the locals and returning summer beach visitors love the Laurel.