By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A beloved Center City diner appears doomed to the wrecking ball, after a Philadelphia City Council committee approved changes that will clear the way for a luxury hotel at the location.

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Council members mourned its passing, even as they approved its demise.


“Little Pete’s” seems from another era, basic food, low prices, open 24/7. And soon, it will be part of history.

A year after new owners acquired the building at 17th and Chancellor and gave the diner an eviction notice, they got permission to proceed with a 13-story, 300-room “lifestyle hotel” on the site.

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Diner owner John Koutroubas was there to give it his blessing.

“We’re talking with the construction company and the new people. They’re trying to find us a spot in the neighborhood.”

He says he appreciates the legion of fans who tried to save the place.

“But what are you going to do?”

Indeed, committee chair Bill Greenlee says there was not much council could do to stop the hotel project, but he’s happy the builders are helping Koutroubas scout a new location.

“I’ve consumed my share of omelettes, etc. at Little Pete’s and I think there should be a place in Center City for Little Pete’s.”

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Koutroubas says he doesn’t know yet when he’ll have to close.