LONG BEACH ISLAND – After 32 years of memories and bringing joy to the community, the popular Dom’s Drive In in LBI will be closing for good.
The business announced in early September that after the season it will be closing its doors and saying goodbye to the island.
Back in 1988, owner Rich Lally and his father Rich Sr. were looking for a business to run together. They came across Dom’s, bought it, and have been running the place ever since.
When they broke the news about closing Dom’s, many residents in the community were sad to see one of their beloved places go.
“I think since we’ve always ran Dom’s as a family business and because we are here every day and every night I think it’s a unique business in the fact that we are always here and we care about what people get as a final product,” owner Rich Lally said. “My kids have worked here, my wife and I are always here. The hard work pays off and people are happy with what they get here. They’re happy to get the same thing every time the same way, which is kind of rare today. I think that’s why so many people in the community loved Dom’s.”
When asked why Dom’s was closing after 32 years of business, Rich and his wife Barbara stated that it’s just time to end things.
“It’s been a great run,” Barbara said. “We’re going to miss it a lot, but you know it’s just time for us to take a break. That’s all.”
It’s still currently unknown if something will replace Dom’s Drive In. According to Rich, the building is under contract and there’s a possibility that the people who will buy it will build new houses in its place.
The official last day of Dom’s Drive In will be October 12. On Dom’s Facebook page, many customers expressed how much Dom’s meant to them and the memories it gave them.
“Everyone has been making it their business to come down here – just to make it here – before we close” Barbara said. “After all this time people have been giving us stories that have been 50 years deep at this point. You know they have been coming to this building back in the 50s, which obviously it wasn’t ours back then. We’ve had people taking wedding pictures out front on their wedding day. It’s amazing to me how much Dom’s means to the community and we’re so grateful.”
Barbara states how throughout the 32 years of running Dom’s, the family has made lifelong friends with employees and families all over the community.
“We still talk to employees who were here 30 years ago. I just got off the phone with a past employee who is now a teacher in Montana and he said Dom’s was the best job he’s ever had and we’re still friends with his entire family,” Barbara said. “That’s just the way it’s been all these years with all these people. I don’t know if all restaurants go through that kind of stuff we’ve experienced but we are very thankful for it. That’s when you know you’re doing it right is when they keep coming back for years and years.”