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Lundy’s Restaurant locks out diners - Fears swirl that landmark eatery could be history on Emmons Avenue

The lights may be on, but nobody seems to be home at the famous FWIL Lundy Brothers Restaurant, leading some to fear that the historic, yet beleaguered eatery has baked its last biscuit. Diners at the restaurant, located at the corner of Emmons and Ocean avenue, have claimed that the doors to the eatery have been locked since Friday. Although the doors had been locked, the lights inside the restaurant have been on, visitors said. Just inside the front door is a list of dinner specials, but it is unclear how old those specials are. A visit to the restaurant on Friday night, Monday and Tuesday by this paper led to nothing but locked doors. There were no signs indicating why the doors were locked – not even a note by the seafood purveyors with the words, “Gone Fishin’.” Calls to the restaurant went unanswered as this paper went to press. Lentnek Realty, the property holder for Lundy Bros. did not return calls for comment. Workers in Lundy’s Landing, a grouping of shops next door to the restaurant, said that several people have come in wondering why the restaurant was closed, but do not know why the building was shuttered and for how long. Insiders, however, said that Lundy’s has been going downhill for quite some time. Civic activists contacted said that they had heard that the restaurant was doomed to close, especially since it had been closed twice before in the last few years. Last April, officials from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) ordered the restaurant closed after discovering a number of health code violations, most notably presence of “active rodent infestation” and the “lack of hot or cold running water in handwash sinks.” Lundy’s was officially re-opened a few days later, after they proved to the DOHMH that they have corrected all of the critical violations and was re-inspected. Originally opened in 1934, Lundy’s quickly became a borough staple when it came to exceptional seafood. The restaurant itself is unique with its unparalleled “Lundy’s stucco style” architecture. Clam shells from Sheepshead Bay were used to make the walls, historians note. The restaurant was forced to close, however, when its owner, Irving Lundy died in 1977. It was re-opened in the early 1990s when realtor Donald Lentnek made an arrangement with the current property holder to lease the spot out, bringing Lundy’s, as well as Sheepshead Bay, back to its former glory. Tam Restaurants Inc. was the first tenant. The restaurant chain was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2003 after the State Department of Taxation and Finance seized the Emmons Avenue property for non-payment of state sales taxes. A larger citywide corporation known as the Players Club, officially took over operation of the restaurant in November, 2005. We had heard that the new owners had some substantial financial troubles and that every effort made to reorganize and retool the business was not working,” said State Senator Carl Kruger, one of the insiders who had heard about Lundy’s downfall. But, although he had heard that things were bleak, he had not heard that the restaurant was officially closed. “If that is so, I just hope that someone comes in and makes it work as a restaurant,” he said. “It’s a landmarked building and is the anchor of the Emmons Avenue renaissance and we are not going to walk away from that.”

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