By Bill Parry
The building that used to serve as the location of Uncle George’s Greek Taverna, once one of the most popular restaurants in Astoria, will be demolished to make way for a four-story residential building, according to plans filed with the Department of Business. The existing building, at 33-19 Broadway, is three stories with ground floor retail.
The new building will also feature a glass-enclosed ground floor that is expected have a new Greek restaurant within a year and five high-end residential apartments.
Uncle George’s rustic Mediterranean cooking and home-style dining was so popular that when it opened in 1978 there were often lines along Broadway just to get in.
George “Uncle George” Polimenakos was a legendary figure in the neighborhood. After he died, his wife Maria sold the business in 2009. The subsequent owner kept the name, but the restaurant was never the same, closing for good in 2013 when it was seized by city marshals due to unpaid taxes and debts.
John Arvanitis, the current owner of the property, could not be reached for comment.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr