PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Monday night marks the end of an era.
Little Pete’s — a popular 24/7 eatery at 17th and Chancellor Streets for almost 40 years — is closing shop.
Don’t let the “little” in the name fool you. As some of the regulars tell KYW Newsradio, the restaurant has made a big impact.
“It’s got a lot of character, the servers care about the customer.”
“Everything is perfect all the time.”
“It’s like family.”
David Todd, whose been going to Little Pete’s with his friends since the mid 1990’s, says his “heart sank” when he heard the news they were closing.
“Probably the best service we ever had even though we didn’t deserve it because most nights we came in here drunk just having a good time,” he jokes. “But they’ve been amazing people, we’re sorry to see it go. Definitely holds a special place in our hearts.”
Peter Koutroubas opened Little Pete’s in 1978. It’s affectionately named after him. Peter’s brother, John, is a partner.
“Very emotional,” John says. “It’s like taking a part of your heart away. You get close with the community, close with the customers, close with the neighbors, and now it’s over. It’s not going to be the same.”
John says the building is being turned into a hotel. They were told they have to be out by the end of the summer, but they chose to close now.
He has this message to anyone who ever dined there:
“Thank you to all the customers for all these years, the support they give us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The Koutroubas brothers also run a Little Pete’s in Fairmount. That’s not going anywhere right now.
And as for the possibility of another Little Pete’s popping up in Philadelphia in the future…
“If a good opportunity comes up, maybe we’ll open up another one,” says John.
The Center City location closes at 9 p.m. Memorial Day.