AJ’s in Bay Shore announces temporary shutdown to reimagine business


The neighboring YMCA has been largely closed. St. Patrick’s Church across the street is at limited seating. The summer crowds were thin.

This all resulted in sales being way down for 2020 at AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese at 182 West Main Street in Bay Shore.

So, owner Anthony Leis and his staff need some time to regroup and reimagine their small business in the pandemic era, and the state restrictions that come with it.

AJ’s will be shut down starting today, Sunday, Jan. 10, as well as the remainder of the week, Leis announced on social media today.

“We hope this is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new and better chapter,” he wrote. “We will be introducing our new plan over the course of the week so that all of you have the opportunity to continue your patronage at our restaurant while enjoying some of the nation’s best grilled cheese sandwiches! (Full post appears below.)

“We’re also very limited in the events we can host,” he later told us.

What he’s expecting is a short-term shutdown followed by a new, scaled-down version of AJ’s popular menu with revised hours of operation.