New eatery replacing Zorn’s in Bellmore

A new BBQ chicken restaurant will be taking the place of Zorn’s in Bellmore. 

Cookoo Rico, which bills itself as the original Portuguese charcoal chicken eatery, leased the 3,500-square-foot restaurant on .34 acres at 2495 Merrick Road. 

The new restaurant, featuring coal-fired BBQ chickens and other related menu items, is slated to open this fall. 

Earlier this month, Bellmore-based MGD Investments closed on its $1.8 million purchase of the Merrick Road property, which had been the home of Zorn’s of Bellmore for 26 years. Peter Zorn, who had owned and operated the popular restaurant and take-out eatery that closed at the end of March, previously announced his plan to retire and move out of the area. 

Zorn’s sister Merrill continues to own the Zorn’s operation in Bethpage, where their grandfather Peter began selling turkeys out of a cement-block building on Hempstead Turnpike in 1940.  

MGD had fielded interest from several prospective business tenants before leasing the Bellmore property to the father-and-son team of Zvi and David Ben-Yosef, who will be opening Cookoo Rico there. The Ben-Yosefs already operate an unrelated restaurant chain called Chimimchurri Charcoal Chicken with locations in Cedarhurst, Carle Place and Oceanside. 

“We heard people talking about how they would miss Zorn’s in their community,” said Larry Weinberger, principal of MGD Investments. “We wanted to replace an iconic restaurant with a similar product but with today’s vibe, and we think we have done that.” 

Derek Weinberger served as in-house representative for landlord MGD Investments and worked directly with the new tenant on the Bellmore lease transaction.

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