NEW HAVEN, CT — Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, a popular shoreline seafood restaurant, is closing its New Haven location at Long Wharf, the owners announced Wednesday.
The owners said the decision to close was a “difficult, but necessary choice” due to the coronavirus pandemic and an expiring lease. Just the New Haven location at 501 Long Wharf Dr. is closing, the original two Lenny & Joe’s in Madison and Westbrook will remain open.
The New Haven restaurant will officially close on Sunday, Oct. 18.
“For the past 8 years we have proudly served the New Haven area,” reads a post on the Lenny & Joe’s website. “We are grateful for the opportunity it gave us to serve many new loyal customers. You are now part of the ‘Fish Tale Family’ that began in 1979.
“The decision to close our New Haven operation has been a difficult one. Unfortunately, COVID 19 has greatly changed the restaurant environment. We have worked very hard for the past 8 months to try and keep the business going. We ultimately realized that the effects of the virus won’t soon go away, and ‘have rippled through our community in ways that deeply affected the Long Wharf business.’ We also faced an expiring lease, both of which has made the closing a difficult, but necessary choice.”
Despite the difficult decision, the owners said they are excited about the future because “unlike many restaurant closures, this will feel more like a consolidation.”
“Both of the 2 original Fish Tales, the Madison Drive-In Restaurant and the Westbrook Family Restaurant remain open year-round,” according to the website. “Our Long Wharf customers can look forward to still enjoying the very best fresh seafood at these Shoreline locations. All Gift cards purchased at the New Haven restaurant will be accepted at the Westbrook and Madison restaurants.
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“The people of New Haven welcomed us with open arms, and for that we will be forever grateful. We are thrilled that the two original Lenny & Joe’s will be there for you! The Long Wharf staff, customers, our suppliers and the great city of New Haven have our sincere thanks.”
Lenny & Joe’s fans were saddened by the news.
“I’m so sorry to hear this!!!” one person wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Any Lenny and Joe’s location is a good location!! My Father who passed away last September was a huge fan of your seafood and I still proudly wear his #fishtale shirts!”
Another person wrote, “Can’t tell you how upsetting, to hear this!!!!..We LOVE this Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale in New Haven!!!!!!! The only fish place that cooks my fish to perfection!!! Great friendly staff, and such a relaxing atmosphere inside, and especially outside by the beautiful waters, and can’t forget those birds, entertaining us all, while we dine……Really going to miss our favorite place.”
This article originally appeared on the New Haven Patch