Owners of Maui Chop House Food Truck and Chico’s Tex Mex Joining Forces to Open Strong Island Burgers in Setauket, Chico’s Moving Up the Road

The owners of Maui Chop House Food Truck and Chico’s Tex Mex are opening a new burger joint together called Strong Island Burgers.

Maui Chop House owner John Louis told LongIslandRestaurants.com during a phone interview that he and Chico’s owner Vinay Galani are partnering up on the new venture although it will require a little shifting around of the restaurant puzzle in Setauket.

Strong Island Burgers will be taking over 30 Route 25A in Setauket where Chico’s Tex Mex is currently (next to the Cupeez Drive-Thru). In turn, Chico’s Tex Mex will be moving to the Three Village Shopping Center up the road on Route 25A in Setauket in the former location of Sei Ramen. (This is the shopping center with Wild by Nature and Starbucks).

It’s a little confusing so let’s break it down.

Why is Chico’s Tex Mex Moving?

Louis said that Chico’s Tex Mex wants to put in a bar but the current location prohibits it from happening. So, he decided to move down the road to the Three Village Shopping Center at 244 Route 25A in the spot once occupied by Sei Ramen. According to Louis, Chico’s Tex Mex should be all set up and serving food by December 15th if all goes well with some final inspections. He said the liquor license will follow shortly afterward.

How Did Strong Island Burgers Come About?

Louis said he and Galani are friends and business associates.

“I have been using his kitchen at Chico’s as a commissary for some time now,” Louis said. “Vinay came to me and said we can keep the lease and you and I can do a burger restaurant.”

Thus Strong Island Burger was born. They expect to open sometime in the first half of January 2024.

What’s Happening with Mau Chop House Food Truck?

Maui Chop House Food Truck will continue on. Louis says he brings the food truck from Oceanside to Shelter Island but he’s looking to park the truck somewhere over the winter so he can run it while getting the burger joint ready for business. Last October, Louis left his Maui Chop House brick-and-mortar spot in Rocky Point. (The space is being taken over now by Bonita Steakhouse.)

What Will Strong Island Burgers be Like?

Like the name suggests, it’s mostly about burgers. Louis and Galani have come up with 17 different menu burgers and will have a build your own burger offering. This is not going to be just your typical cheeseburger joint.

Among the varieties of burgers on the menu are a marinated skirt steak burger, a chorizo burger, and a surf & turf burger with cajun shrimp. They will also serve fresh salads in front of the restaurant, wings, and chicken sandwiches.

It will be a quick serve restaurant. There are 20 seats in the dining area but they think it will be mainly takeaway service. Louis said this will be a unique offering in the neighborhood. They hope to capitalize on Stony Brook University students and the hospital being so close.

“There’s nothing in the area as far as burgers go,” he said.

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