Many customers had been by the restaurant lately to say hello and thanks, Mike Birurakis said.
"We've made a lot of friends over the last 30 years," he said. "and we appreciate the support we got since we announced [the closure]."
Birurakis said he told his six employees about the business closing at the beginning of February. Laying off workers was the most difficult part of closing, he said. The employees who have sought work, though, now have jobs waiting for them, he said.
"We thank the employees for the help," he said. "We've touched three generations, and we appreciate all the help."
Jeff Pierson and Tyler Evert were two who came for one last meal at the restaurant.
"My wife and I come were about once a week," Pierson said. "My daughter, Sylvia, is 21/2. The first meat she had was lamb from here."
When Evert worked at Sears in the Town Center, "I would come here pretty much every day," he said. Since he's had children, whose tastes are more suited to other foods, he's visited less often.
"I think it's sad that everything's getting replaced by more commercial chains," he said.
Birurakis said he's toying with the idea of opening a new restaurant, but first he wants to take a break -- from his catering business, too.
"I'm going to take a few months and gather myself," he said. "I'm good for my word, and I'm not going to say I'm going to open a restaurant until I'm sure, because it's a big commitment."
His loyal customers, Maradei included, seem ready to follow if he opens a new place.
"If they reopen in the East End, in the West Side, we'll go," she said. "It doesn't matter where."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.