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LIC Diner Dorian Cafe Shuts its Doors

The Dorian Cafe at 10-01 50th Ave (Queens Post Photo)

Dec. 3, 2019 By Kristen Torres

A Long Island City staple has officially shut its doors.

Dorian Café, located on the corner of Vernon Boulevard and 50th Avenue, served its final round of customers last week.

The famed diner sat in the middle of one of LIC’s busiest streets — surrounded by a corridor of other restaurants and businesses, just off the 7 train at Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue.

Dorian Café touted a menu influenced by American and Greek foods, serving traditional dishes like matzo ball soup and gyro platters alongside pastrami melts and nachos.

Diner management didn’t cite specific reasons for the restaurant’s closure but left a simple note on the window of the restaurant last week.

“Thank you for so many years of coming to our restaurant to be our customers and friends,” the note read.

It continued, “Unfortunately, we were unable to continue to operate our business here for different reasons.”

The note left on the door of Dorian Cafe (Queens Post Photo)

The café gained some fame for being the backdrop in two episodes of “Person of Interest” — back in 2014 and 2015 — as well as an episode of CBS’ “Elementary” in 2012.

Online reviews for the restaurant go back at least seven years, touting the diner’s reputation as a  neighborhood staple.

Owners of the cafe have yet to respond to a request for comment.

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46 Comments

Valerie (Sullivan) Pfundstein

I’m convinced Dorian’s was used as the inspiration for SNL’s Greek Diner skits in the ’70s. Shame to see a long-standing LIC spot shut down.

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Anonymous

If Amazon’s HQ2 opened up shop in the area, businesses such as this one would have survived and maybe even thrived if they did it right. We can all thank our Congressional and Senate Representatives as well as our local leaders for this. Keep voting for them if you want more of this to happen…

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Sunnyside_Native

Used to go there for late night bites! My more recent trip was met with bland food, service and ambience. However, I am sorry to see it go. I know many would call my local stop on a Skillman mediocre, but I love it, I’m sure the locals have grown used to their local diner.

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nick

Agreed- the last time i was there was 40 minutes before closing and the staff- in an attempt to speak english- told me they were not taking orders bc they were closing soon (40 till close!)

Shame – id been going here for -0 years. Used to be well prepared and tasty food. Recently its been bad food, no one speaking english and shit service.

Still sad to see them go.

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John j martino

I am sad to see this dinner shut down, I went to Saint Mary’s back in the Day’s of the early 60’s and when we went to early mass my Mother took myself and my sister for hot chocolate and a bagel. this dinner should be made a Landmark of LIC where I grew up as well. I am sure all the hungry Brokers want to get there hands on this property, will miss looking when passing by so long.

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Ali abdalkwy

Sorry to see them go that was the most a cheaper place in the area And a very close to our office

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Lady J

As with most things time changes all. Unfortunate, that another mom and pop bites the dust. Would have liked to see them stay in the neighborhood. I have dined there in the past and was not really happy with my meal. Needless to say one can always improve their menu. I’m sure this was a very convenient restaurant for the neighborhood residents and workers. Sorry to see any Mom and Pop’s go. Mom and Pops merchants are, have been, and always will be my first choices. Best wishes to any future endeavor the former owner’s seek.

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Jason Smith

In recent years it was under new management and it was poor quality, that is why this place closed. Bad food, who wants that crap. Maybe if there was quality and good food places like this and others would be able to stay in business.

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Kanary

When I worked in the neighborhood for A little over two years … I’d order take out a few times a week. Great food. Good people. Sad to hear it’s closing up shop.

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Anna Jescic

CVS, Duane Reade, Urban Market, Food Cellar and Keyfoods are all headed in the same direction. What is going on?

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AMJ

CVS, Duane Reade, and Food Cellar all charge significantly more than the same stores in Manhattan. Food Cellar is especially over priced, Fresh Direct, Whole Foods in Manhattan, Trader Joes in Manhattan, the list goes on, are all more affordable. The drugstores in this neighborhood are also overpriced, charging more than the same stores in Manhattan and significantly more than if you ordered online. I don’t know why anyone would shop at any of these places in LIC.

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MrLIC

Nobody is a fan of high prices, but you are wrong to assume Food Cellar will struggle because Trader Joe’s is cheaper. I shop at Food Bazaar on Northern Boulevard once or twice a month (prices are much better and they have “ethnic” food up the wazoo), Costco (my kids require copious amounts of string cheese and apple sauce), Key Foods (it’s close to the 23rd St station) and I still regularly shop at Food Cellar (milk, fruit & veg, cheese, cereal & convenience). There are a lot of people who don’t have a car and don’t want to travel outside the neighborhood for their groceries or meds.

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MrLIC

Forgot to mention – the copious redundant packaging of Fresh Direct is a real turnoff. Use your own shopping bags, people!

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BSSpotter

You’re going to compare a mediocre, poorly run, out-of-date ‘diner’ with terrible service to actual well run businesses in the area? Seems like quite a leap.

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John

I wouldn’t throw Urban Market in the mix for sure. Much better prices than Food Cellar. I switched 2 months after moving here and only go to Food Cellar for fish now.

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LICGreg

Please hold off on the gay bars until I can afford to buy a place. Then bring in the gays! Property values will go through the roof!

(meant to be funny, not offensive…)

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Anonymous

To honor the many years Dorian’s has tirelessly served the hungry cops of the 108th Precinct, a special police honor guard of patrol cars will park on the sidewalks surrounding the diner until…forever.

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Elyse Lottier

Terry and his wife were wonderful people! My grandkids never wanted to eat anywhere else. You will be missed

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MRLIC

Another one closes. A shame . The diner was here a long time. Owner did not specify reasons but usually rent is number 1

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Luxury condo developers like Trump are driving up rents

It’s a shame you don’t support small business, instead voting for the rich 1%

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Glad they closed!!

How about: prices went up, food got tasteless. They didnt put the ac on much in the summer….oh yes don’t forget that little male waiter who always called women honeeeey in such a sexist way it was SO disrespectful. I am SO glad they closed!!!

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M

Glad to hear not just me. He also served the food very close to you. He was one of the many reasons I stopped going there.

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Nick M

I used to own dorians from 1998 to 2001, pilot episode for Third watch was filmed there as well,
There was movies being filmed always. Sorry to see it go.

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Bob

I moved to Hunters Point in 2003. I was always fascinated by what looked like a small store front in the subway station under Dorians. It looks like it hasn’t been used in many years. I’m sure it will be lost to time as soon. Did it connect to the Diner or is it an MTA owned storefront?

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Nick M

The store in subway was part of lease for Dorian
It’s the front basement of
Dorian‘s, property of building,
Remember that this was a very hot corner.
The trolley station was across the street, the bridge before Polasky bridge was from
Manhattan Avenue In
Greenpoint to Vernon blvd in LIC. There was a billboard on top of dorian building. movie theater across the street,

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no name

another mom and pop place closing in lic to make way for all the skyscrapers and mommies pushing babies to the beergarden for a babyshower!

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Glad they closed!!

How about: prices went up, food got tasteless. They didnt put the ac on much in the summer….oh yes don’t forget that little male waiter who always called women honeeeey in such a sexist way it was SO disrespectful. I am SO glad they closed!!!

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