La Marmite to close after 41 years

James Galloway

After 41 years in business, La Marmite will shutter its doors this month as the owners look to modernize the establishment by opening a rebranded restaurant called Copper Hill, which will serve American fare.

The Kearns family, which owns the Williston Park eatery, said in a press release that Copperhill would open in September and specialize in “Modern American cuisine.”

“Our philosophy is based on creating fiercely seasonal menus that showcase our relationships with local farms and purveyors,” executive chef Gregory Kearns said. “Whether it’s seasonal produce, local seafood or craft beer, the public is looking for high quality and great value. Our goal is to deliver both.”

The family said the renovations to the 125-year-old Victorian home at 234 Hillside Ave. would include “significant enhancements to the interior,” including an extended bar, new taproom and additional room to increase dining capacity.

“It’s a magnificent building with a great history,” owner Dick Kearns said. “We want to respect that history while giving the property a contemporary modern farmhouse feel.”

Newsday, which gave La Marmite a three star review, called La Marmite “one of the last ‘le’ and ‘la’ landmarks, which for decades defined haute dining on Long Island.”

The Kearns purchased the restaurant in 2013 from longtime owner Renzo Pedrazzi and said they’ve “been committed to renovating the restaurant” since then.

“Our first focus was on food, creating a new menu of quality dishes,” Dick Kearns said. “Now we are going to make significant enhancements to the interior, creating an atmosphere and decor that compliments our strategy. Given those changes, the decision to rebrand was a natural evolution.”

In a 2014 review of La Marmite, Newsday food critic Peter Gianotti said that with the Kearns purchase of the restaurant,“the familiar northern Italian-French menu has been refreshed and updated.”

“Exit seafood crepes, enter kale salad,” he wrote.

Gregory Kearns said the name Copperhill is in homage to The Copper Pan, one of three restaurants to operate at the location since 1960. The “hill” refers to the restaurant’s Hillside address.

“We wanted a name that respected both the history of the property and our view of the future,” Gregory Kearns said. “The Copper Pan was one of the predecessor restaurants, and I liked the idea of working copper into our décor and new image.”

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James Galloway

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