The last day at Forum Diner in Bay Shore is Aug. 7, but there are reopening plans


Update: Since our original report, ownership at The Forum Diner in Bay Shore reached out to GreaterBayShore to say there are plans to reopen the space. No other details are available yet but check back for updates. We regret the error in reporting the space was closing forever.

Original report: It’s a sad day for Bay Shore.

After more than five decades on West Main Street, The Forum Diner is closing its doors Aug. 7.

Whether celebrating a special occasion, catching up with loved ones, or grabbing some late night grub with friends, The Forum at 315 W. E. Main St. was a favorite gathering spot that locals young and old grew to love over the course of 52 years.

“This was always another home for people,” said manager Matt Moraitis. “Especially our regular customers we would see every single day. They were like our family.”

Moraitis said business began to “plummet” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state-imposed shutdowns and subsequent dining restrictions that spanned 2020.

“It wasn’t even like it was a slow drop, the floor came out from underneath us,” he said.

Business was down around 35 percent, Moraitis said, and the diner has continued to struggle since the pandemic hit.

The Forum Diner team was banking on a COVID-19 grant from the government to stay afload, but due to lack of funds, the small business program stopped accepting applications, Moraitis said.

The diner was also hit hard by inflation, he said. The spike in food costs became too much for the small business.

The manager said even with raising the prices on the menu, the “math doesn’t add up.”

“A couple of weeks before Easter, we were paying about $45 for 30 dozen eggs, and today they are about $120 for that same case of eggs,” Moraitis said. “This was overnight … cooking oil we were paying $19 a year ago, it’s $46 now.”

Moraitis said The Forum isn’t the only restaurant currently affected by food inflation — it’s happening all over the country.

Unfortunately, small businesses suffer the most and he wishes it was talked about more, he said.

He also said he expects folks from Bay Shore, Brightwaters and the surrounding communities to pack the place on its final day of business.

After all, he said, it’s been 52 years of making memories together.

“I love the Bay Shore, Brightwaters, and West Islip area, I’m going to miss it so much,” Moraitis said. “I have the absolute best employees that anybody could ask for. I can’t picture anybody having better employees, better food, and we have the greatest customers.

“I’m really going to miss them a lot.”

For those who want to say their final goodbyes, The Forum Diner will remain open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. On the last day of operations, on Aug. 7, the diner will close at 3 p.m.

Top: Exterior of The Forum Diner. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.