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La Viola Closes Down After 35 Years

Five Towns staple was known for its private party catering.

After 35 years in business,  in Cedarhurst served its last meal on Tuesday evening.  

The eatery, located at 499 Chestnut St., was conceived by Lino Viola and his wife Elsa, who passed away in January.

It was originally a French continental restaurant, but shifted its focus to traditional Italian favorites over the years. The menu also evolved, moving from individual portions to family-style dining.

The large store was well-known for its banquet room, which hosted countless parties during its run. Several years after opening, the owners also offered cooking classes, as well as the restaurant’s signature “Opera/Broadway Night,” a unique monthly dining experience.

Lino Viola was unavailable for comment by press time.

Many years after launching their first restaurant, the owners opened up another La Viola in Sysosett, which also closed down several years ago.

Sam Livingston August 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Best of luck to Lino. Only the best memories of dinners and parties at LaViola! A loss to Cedarhurst, the neighborhood and his friends and loyal customers.
5TResident August 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM
That is bad news for Cedarhurst. I'm sure many people will blame the Orthodox community for this. Someone needs to speak to Mr. Viola to find out why he's closing up.
ABS August 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Lino above all was a gentleman ..always welcoming..community minded. I remember fondly the educational dinners held by the Lawrence Men`s Tennis Club, many of the attendees experienced for the first time exciting new horizons.. portrayed by the multi talented participants brought in to educate members, many members then yearned to participate,become in-volved and have a hand in things.Even some of the older men seem to rise to the occasion and fully kept abreast of the fast moving events...even the floor show ! As always the LMTC made sure that the invited educaters had plenty to eat,even though due to seating requirements they had to eat on the floor
J August 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I don't think you could even blame the Orthodox for this, Mother Kelly's is right there and still continues to do fine.
Ann Liss August 16, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Lino, Ann & I have only the fondest memories of your restaurant. It was my favorite place to celebrate my birthday with my family. We also enjoyed the company of the Cascardis from time to time. You and your family were so welcoming, so friendly and dear to our hearts. You treated everyone like royalty. We will miss you very much. We wish you all the very best in the future. Fondly, Ann & Peter Liss
Jerome J. Levenberg August 16, 2012 at 04:28 PM
If anything is to blame, it's the Obama economy.
Elliot Skiddell August 16, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Maybe he just wanted to retire?
phil August 17, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I'm with you. Every time a store closes after 30 or 40 years, and my lovely wife wonders "why after all this time." I think the same thing as you. Sometimes you've had enough.
Carmela Soprano August 17, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Ditto!
Mike Fasule August 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM
R You can in no way compare Mother Kelly's to La Viola. Mother Kelly's food is gross. The people who go there must not have taste buds. I hear there going out of business as well.
Phal kong August 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Yes, all my anniversary dinners have been here. Fond memories. So sad to see it closed. Best of luck to you always Lino!
Leo Bialystock August 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Another casualty of the ghetto-ing of the 5 Towns. Just look at Broadway in Woodmere... more empty stores than open. This was once a thriving Village, especially on weekend evenings; now it's DESERTED (especially on Fridays after sundown) One group of people should NEVER be allowed to take over a community. I don't need to blame the Orthodox community since most of the business owners in the area have already done that for me.
Tony August 18, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Hopefully Lino just wanted to retire, but it's a shame nonetheless. Outstanding restaurant. Good people. Nuff said.
penny and michael August 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM
lino always a gentleman penny and michael
JP Broyce September 02, 2012 at 11:40 PM
The LMTC is fortunate to have Mother Kelly`s step up to the plate as the new host of the LMTC annual end of season educational program. This year we are told that three well trained educators will be present..this affords several new and exciting options both in the wide open floor demonstration to the new pole position seminar and eating demonstrations. We can now again expect full participation by the usually soft older members as well as a quick and active response by the younger LMTC minuteman group. Mother Kelly`s has agreed to provide a fully sound proof room affording all participants a Zen-like experience. This oversold event is of course highly anticipated ,a waiting list is posted in the tennis shack .near the lost and found closet. We are awaiting confirmation of the possibility of CE credits..for the following professions..DDS (endodontist),Attorneys (matrionial)..Certified financial planners...all members big and small,some MD`s (GYN) and ,unattached singles
jeff abetter January 05, 2013 at 05:49 PM
What a shame.Lino was a true gentleman and will be missed.Where have all the restaurants in Cedarhurst gone.I miss so many of them.Quite by accident I did find one of my old favotites.I went to The Hewlett Cafe only to discover the old chef from Mel's Seafood is there with the Mel's menu.It was great.I hope to redicover some other of the old Cedarhurst dining experience.
jeff auerbach January 05, 2013 at 05:59 PM
It's not blaming the Orthodox community.It's just nobody comes into Cedarhurst as a dining or shopping destination anymore.Most of them haved moved to a better location where there is more traffic.I found the old Mel's Seafood chef at The Hewlett Cafe.The same of old Mel's menu and thoroughly enjoyed it.I hope lino opens a new place.I enjoyed dining there.He was a true gentleman.

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