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The Acropolis Restaurant, which opened in 1987 and was known for authentic Greek cuisine, such as lamb, fish, mousaka and stuffed grape leaves, is closing its doors on Christmas Eve.
The Acropolis Restaurant, which opened in 1987 and was known for authentic Greek cuisine, such as lamb, fish, mousaka and stuffed grape leaves, is closing its doors on Christmas Eve. (The Baltimore Sun)

The Acropolis Restaurant, a family-owned anchor of Baltimore’s Greektown neighborhood for more than three decades, has been sold and will close on Christmas Eve.

The Avgerinos family sold the building on Eastern Avenue but not the Acropolis name, owner George Avgerinos said Saturday.

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The family decided to sell the restaurant a couple of years ago and accepted a recent offer, said Avgerinos, son of founder Dimitrios “Jimmy” Avgerinos, a Greek immigrant who died Sept. 19 at age 73.

“My dad wanted to sell,” Avgerinos said. “He just wanted to spend more time with family and didn’t want me to work like he did.”

He declined to name the buyer. He said he didn’t know specific plans for the building at 4718 Eastern Ave.

Avgerinos, who announced the closing on Facebook, said he is exploring opening another business, either catering or an eatery, outside of the city, possibly in Harford, Baltimore or Howard county. Though business has been good for the past few years, he said, it never recovered from a slowdown in the wake of city unrest in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray.

The 130-seat restaurant opened in 1987. It was known for authentic Greek cuisine, such as lamb, fish, mousaka and stuffed grape leaves, and for hosting family celebrations in its banquet hall.

Avgerinos’ father, who had learned his trade as a ship’s cook at age 14 in the Greek merchant marine, emigrated from Chios, Greece, to Baltimore in 1970, according to an obituary in The Sun. He cooked at Ikaros, George’s Beef & Beer and Jimmy’s Seafood before opening Acropolis.

A review in The Sun in 2009 said the restaurant has “not one jot of pretense and appears to want to do nothing more than offer its customers a good meal in pleasant surroundings,” sending out “generous servings of wholesome and satisfying food.”

Avgerinos, 45, Acropolos’s chef, said he has worked at the restaurant six days a week for 25 years and seven days a week a since his father’s death. He has been managing the restaurant on his own with help from his mother and wife.

“With my dad dying, it’s hard to do something he loved every day,” he said. “It’s time to move on.”

In a Facebook announcement to “loyal customers and friends,” the owners described their decision as bittersweet. The dining room will be open for the last time on Christmas Eve but take catering orders through Dec. 27.

“This type of business becomes your life and Acropolis and all of you have been such a huge part of ours,” the post said. “We take this step, not to lose a legacy, but to continue it with our loved ones and families.”

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