ROCKY RIVER– It’s the Tuesday lunch hour.
Phones have been ringing off the hook and tables filling fast, as many are just hearing the news.
After 42 years, Michael’s Restaurant in Rocky River will soon be closing its doors for good.
“I have a really hard time to make the decision, but it finally happened, so this week will be my last week.”
Owner Michael Petrakis saying it’s time to retire and begin the next chapter of his life.
“You see my kids here, my grandkids, so they want me to spend some time with them.”
The 68-year old came to this country from Greece in the 1970’s with virtually nothing.
But in nearly five decades, he started a successful business, met his wife and raised four children.
His daughter, a Washington, D.C. attorney, says this basically was her second home.
Maria Petrakis said, “I waitressed here for good or for bad, I was a horrible waitress and so, every Thanksgiving dinner, every Thanksgiving this is all we knew.”
Speaking of Thanksgiving, Michael’s is also known for his holiday tradition…serving tens of thousands of free meals.
Customers who have now become family getting emotional, saying Michael’s giving spirit will be missed.
Matthew Dagiasis said, “They were unemployed, they didn’t have no work, they didn’t have no money and he made sure those people were well fed.”
As a thank you to all of his loyal customers and supporters, Michael will be offering breakfast, lunch and dinner at 1977 prices.
One final thank you, for helping him achieve the American dream.
“I hope all these years they had good memories.”
Petrakis says he will be helping is twenty staff members relocate to other restaurants in the area.
Michael’s restaurant’s last day will be this Sunday, June 2, open until 9pm.