Papa G's closes, fate of building uncertain
By JONATHAN BILYK - firstname.lastname@example.org
ELBURN - After almost a decade and a half of serving three squares a day, Papa G's has closed.
Sunday, the restaurant on Route 47, just south of the village's downtown, served its last meals. On Monday, would-be customers arrived to find the doors locked and the building empty.
Owner George Kanakaris confirmed that he does not intend to reopen the restaurant.
"There was just not enough business, so we had to shut it down," Kanakaris said, when reached by phone Wednesday. "We had good weekend business, but through the week, there was nothing there."
He also said he has not yet lined up anyone willing to purchase the property.
"There are no buyers," he said.
The restaurant employed 15 workers.
Kanakaris opened Papa G's in the late 1990s. He has worked with his family in restaurants and food service throughout his adult life since immigrating from Greece decades ago.
In addition to the Elburn restaurant, he has also owned Papa G's in Huntley and has worked with his son, Niko, to run the former Niko's Lodge on Route 64 west of St. Charles and Niko's restaurant in Huntley.
The Huntley Papa G's and the former Niko's Lodge, now known as The Lodge, have come under new ownership. Niko's in Huntley closed in 2011.
Kanakaris has sought to sell the Elburn Papa G's location since 2009. As recently as this spring, Kanakaris said he had arranged for a sale and intended to hand the restaurant to new owners by March.
That sale never happened, and Kanakaris continued to operate Papa G's since that time.
Elburn Building Commissioner Tom Brennan said Kanakaris requested a final water meter reading on Monday.
Brennan said a man who did not identify himself came to Elburn Village Hall last week and asked what permits would be required to make small changes to the building, as he intended to purchase the restaurant building.
Elburn Village President David Anderson said the restaurant was important to Elburn through the years, and he hoped that another would open on the property.
Kanakaris said he doesn't know what will become of the Elburn property.
But he said he has already turned his attention to a new business venture, a sport's bar and grill he intends to open in Campton Hills in the restaurant space formerly occupied by the now closed Milano's Ristorante, 40W188 Campton Crossings Drive, off LaFox Road, south of Route 64.
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