Editor’s note: The Laurel will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. before it closes for good. The dates in the letter below were incorrect.
In some very sad news, The Laurel restaurant in Maplewood Village — which opened in May of 2012 and has been a popular and highly regarded addition to the food scene in town — is closing its doors this week.
The sudden closing comes after the passing of Dennis Dwyer, who was a founder of the restaurant and its chef. Dwyer was the father of Lauren Dwyer, the owner.
“This is very sad news,” said Julie Doran, manager of the Maplewood Village Alliance. “The Laurel was a terrific addition to the Village and will be missed.”
In a Maplewood Patch article written shortly before the opening, father and daughter discussed how excited they were to fulfill their dream of opening a restaurant together.
“This is for us now,” said Dennis then. His daughter agreed, adding: “It’s our baby.”
Dwyer announced the closing in a letter, reprinted below:
As some of you may know, the recent passing of my father Dennis Dwyer, means we have lost one of the founders of The Laurel. His role in the restaurant was critical in our success and The Laurel will not be the same without him. The culmination of the past few weeks has led us to the decision to close the restaurant. With a baby on the way, we were faced with the choice of whether or not to renew our lease at a higher rent and make some extensive repairs to the building. Due to these major life changes we have chosen not to renew our lease.
We want to thank all of our customers who have been such a joy to serve over the years.
OUR FINAL DAYS THAT WE WILL BE OPEN ARE TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3RD AND WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4TH FROM 8:00AM TO 3:00 PM.
We will be serving our brunch menu all day. Please join us if you can. We wish we could remain open through the holidays but given the circumstances we are unable to continue through this week. As South Orange residents, we plan to re-open in the Maplewood/South Orange area in the future, and provide you with an even better experience and restaurant space. We will miss you all greatly!
Please feel free to share this note with the community, as we’d like to spread the word as quickly as possible.
-Lauren Dwyer & The Laurel Family