The sale of Louie's signals the end of an era in Port Washington. As soon as I heard about the sale I immediately called the restaurant to find out if it was true and to ask who the new owners were. After I was told that the sale wasn't just a rumor I picked up the phone and dialed friends and family to tell them. Every single person I spoke with was shocked and saddened, a big part of their past was about to disappear.
You may wonder why this came to me as such a shock. I was one of the many who worked at Louie's during high school, college and on weekends after I got my first "real" job in the city. Louie's was a second home to so many high school and college kids. To this day it was absolutely the most favorite job I've ever had!
During the late seventies and eighties Louie's was the place to work - period. The Zwerliens helped to finance more college educations than you could possibly imagine - mine included. If you started as a hostess or busboy, you were virtually guaranteed a job as a waiter, waitress or bartender. Every summer was filled with hard work and good times. There was a camaraderie among the employees which was pretty much indescribable. If you worked at Louie's and had brothers and sisters that were of legal working age, they were saved a spot and became part of the family. This "family" not only worked together we became lifelong friends. To this day my best friend is someone I worked with when I was a teenager. Louie's was also a great place to meet future boyfriends and girlfriends! Quite a few of these matches turned into marriages!
I for one would like to thank the Zwerliens for having given me the opportunity to work there. And I don't think the Corrigans, Belanichs, Shimas, DeSimones, Blankmans, Colemans, Mirchels, Calvellis, Mallons, Folans and a slew of other families would mind if I thanked the Zwerliens on their behalf. I apologize for not having mentioned everyone's name but this letter could have turned into a novel!
I wish the new owners tremendous success and hope that they are able to keep that Louie's "family" feeling alive. Perhaps I need to organize a reunion!
Janet R. Burke