ASTORIA — Longtime nightclub and former Greek restaurant Cavo closed its doors this week after nearly two decades in the neighborhood, according to its owners.
The club — which first opened its doors in 1999 and operated as a hybrid lounge, event space and eatery before closing its restaurant portion last year — hosted its final DJ dance party on New Year's Eve. Astoria Post first reported its closure.
Owners Dino Philippou and Tommy Demaras said their lease was up for the space at 31st Avenue and 43rd Street, and they decided it was time to move on to other ventures.
"It just didn't make sense to continue," said Demaras, who used to go by the nickname Tommy Cavo. "We're older now. We've got kids."
For years, Cavo was known for high-end Greek food by day and dance parties at night, set against extravagant decor. Its cuisine earned a 2003 review in the New York Times which described the space as "straight out of Club Med."
"The place is enormous, with a bar and lounge up front and a vast dining room whose front section, called the Paradiso Lounge, is dominated by a living bamboo tree," the reviewer wrote at the time.
The dining room at Cavo (Courtesy Cavo)
The owners decided to close the kitchen in July of 2015 to focus solely on the nightlife portion of the business, Philippou said.
Fans reacted to Cavo's closure by posting on its Facebook page, with several sharing how they spent their younger years at the club.
"So sad. This was home in my 20s! Thanks for all the great memories," one former patron wrote.
"There goes a piece of our 20's," another person posted.
"It's unbelievable, the response that I'm getting — between text messages, phone calls, emails. People just telling me about their memories, they met their husband there, they met their wife," Philippou said.
"It was a big part of their youth," he added. "We had a great run."
Both owners will still be operating businesses in the neighborhood.
Philippou plans to open a coffee shop in the coming months in the space on Ditmars Boulevard formerly occupied by Last Stop Cafe, which will specialize in gluten- and dairy-free baked goods, he said.
Demaras recently opened a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge at 31-30 Ditmars Blvd. called The Last Word, and also owns Maiella, an Italian restaurant that opened last year in Long Island City.