Uncle George’s–an Astoria institution–closes
June 18, By Bill Parry
Uncle George’s Greek Tavern has closed–for good.
After being in business for well over 30 years, the Greek restaurant known for its tasty gyros, legs of lamb and souvlaki has shut the door for good.
On Monday, many of the restaurant’s items were auctioned off—from refrigerators, to gyro machines to 5tf lamb rotisseries.
Although a sign in the window said “Closed for Renovation,” a man claiming to be the owner said: “No renovation, it’s closed” before choking up, as workmen gutted the restaurant.
The restaurant, famous for its rustic and traditional Mediterranean fare, has been an Astoria institution since it opened at 33-19 Broadway in 1978.
Famous for the line, “Give them lots of food at a low price,” Uncle George was also known as Papa George.
The business changed, however, when George ‘Uncle George’ Polimenakos died and his widow, Maria, sold it in 2009.
The new owners kept the name, but the restaurant wasn’t the same.
A woman dining next door at Michael’s Restaurant recalled the boom years. “There used to be lines down the block for that place,” she said, adding, “People would come from Connecticut: the food was that good.”