BabaluNY will close its doors Thursday, six years after opening at 286 New York Ave. in Huntington.
Owner Alan Gotay cited several reasons for the decision, including staffing problems, increasing costs of running the Cuban-Mediterranean bistro, and the need to explore other options for himself. “I’m ready to move on and entertain other opportunities as a chef and I can’t entertain two things–either I operate a restaurant or I step out on my own,” he said.
Babalu temporarily shut down in October 2019 to expand and reopened in February 2020, just as the Covid-19 epidemic hit and shut down businesses. Gotay had made a name for himself, working with Long Island Cares to teach others about nutritious cooking. Babalu was one of the restaurants that participated in a program to feed Huntington Hospital workers coping with long hours caused by the epidemic.
“I do plan on staying in the area as much as I can,” he said. “I will be providing catering in town and would like to reach out to some of the local businesses to see about entertaining other ideas, such as pop ups. Private dinners, possible summer outdoor market, etc. I will look to stay active in the community as much as I can.”
In addition, the former boxer said that he has lined up several gigs this summer, including private events booked in the Hamptons, catering, a wedding in September and some work as a consultant on cooking.