Since 1940, generations of Long Islanders have been going to the one place they know and trust for a good, homemade meal—Zorn’s of Bethpage. The family-owned-and-operated business has been serving meals to the community for nearly 79 years, but come this spring the iconic building will be torn down in favor of a new building adjacent to the current plot.
“Everything is going to remain the same,” said Merrill Zorn, the fourth-generation owner of the legendary company. “We’ll have the same recipes, the same staff, we’re still a family. The only difference is we’ll have a couple of seats, a sit down little dining area.”
The Zorn’s of Bethpage legacy began in 1930 when Zorn’s grandfather and great-grandfather began producing poultry and eggs. This would evolve into operating a 10-acre farm in Bethpage where Zorn’s currently stands. By 1940, he was raising and selling turkeys out of a storefront and, later, “oven-ready” turkeys and the first rotisserie chickens on Long Island. His recipes for sides like potato salad and macaroni salad are unchanged to this day.
Now, Zorn’s sells much more, from delectable chocolate desserts and perfectly moist corn bread to their famous rotisserie chicken and ultra-creamy mac and cheese. Their sesame fried chicken is crisped to perfection and holds unrivaled flavor. The garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach are also perfectly crafted for the ultimate flavor experience.
Boasting a menu of nothing but guaranteed quality and freshness, potatoes are hand-peeled, chicken filets, ribs and pork are hand-trimmed, and gravies and soups are MSG-free. Their skinless southern fried chicken is cooked in non-trans fat, 100 percent cholesterol-free soybean oil and additives and preservatives are never used.
As the business remains open through construction of the new building, Long Islanders looking for their favorite Zorn’s dish will still be able to come by and indulge. “It’s very bittersweet,” said Zorn of the current building’s upcoming demolition. “Customers can’t believe they’re taking down this institution, but they’re excited for something new.”