The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Uncle George's to Be Replaced by Omonia Cafe Owner's New Greek Eatery

By Jeanmarie Evelly | October 19, 2016 5:58pm | Updated on October 21, 2016 5:35pm
 A rendering of the future development at 33-19 Broadway, the former Uncle George's restaurant space.
A rendering of the future development at 33-19 Broadway, the former Uncle George's restaurant space.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

ASTORIA — Broadway just isn't the same without Uncle George's around, says Ioannis Arvanitis.

The longtime restaurateur, who owns Omonia Cafe at Broadway and 33rd Street, is planning a new Greek eatery just a block away at 33-19 Broadway — taking over the space formerly occupied by Uncle George's Greek Tavern, a popular Astoria staple that closed its doors in 2013.

The neighborhood just hasn't been the same since it shuttered, according to Arvanitis.

"When Uncle George's closed down, Broadway is going down," he said, adding that the corridor, Omonia Cafe included, has seen less business since Uncle George's left the scene. "Nobody is coming to the area."

Arvanitis is hoping to revitalize the commercial strip with his new restaurant, to be called Amylos, which will open on the ground floor of the old Uncle George’s building, which he owns and where he's building new apartments on the floors above.

"I'm planning to bring the life of Broadway back," he said. "I want to see Broadway booming like it was before."

The eatery will serve classic Greek dishes like lamb and moussaka at affordable prices, cooked by a chef Arvanitis has hired from Greece, he said. It will be similar to its predecessor Uncle George's, except "a little more upscale."

"Good food, good prices," he said.

Arvanitis has also applied for a permit to install enclosed sidewalk seating, which Queens Community Board 1 is expected to vote on Thursday.

He expects the restaurant to open in two to three months, he said.

Uncle George's had been at the corner of Broadway and 34th Street for more than 30 years before it closed three years ago because its owners owed tens of thousands of dollars in back rent, according to a Daily News report at the time.

Last year, Arvanitis began renovations to the three-story building, which he purchased in 2012 for $1.5 million, city records show.

The work includes the addition of a fourth floor and construction of five new apartments, according to Department of Buildings records.