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Alexander's, Petersburg mainstay, closes after 45 years

'I've been here 45 years and I don't think I've ever worked less than 70 to 75 hours a week'
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Posted at 10:49 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 10:49:15-04

Watch the report from WTVR CBS 6 Photojournalist Joe Valdez in the video player above.

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Alexander's restaurant, a mainstay of Old Towne Petersburg, closed for the final time Saturday night.
Alexander's owner, 72-year-old Spiros Georgogianis, made the decision to close the restaurant after four decades of serving Greek food to its loyal customers.

"I feel horrible," Georgogianis said about his emotional decision to close. "Since I announced it last Thursday, people behind the counter come in the kitchen and hug you and kiss you and cry. It hasn't been good."

After working 75 hours a week for 45 years, Spiros Georgogianis is closing Alexander's in Petersburg

Spiros remains a humble man who in 1972 immigrated from Greece to the United States. He moved to Northern Virginia, then to North Carolina.

He made his way to Petersburg in 1997 where, just a few years later, he opened Alexander's.

"I've been here 45 years and I don't think I've ever worked less than 70 to 75 hours a week," Georgogianis said.

Those long workdays helped him build an iconic restaurant.

"Most of the dishes I do serve are really my creation, let's put it that way. The recipes and all that I worked over the years," Georgogianis said. "Everything has an almost Greek flair to it."

After working 75 hours a week for 45 years, Spiros Georgogianis is closing Alexander's in Petersburg

As the years turned into decades, something happened to the name of the restaurant.

"Probably 50 percent of the people, I don't exaggerate, they don't say, we go to Alexander's, they say we go to Spiros," Georgogianis said.

No matter what people call it, Spiros doesn't refer to those who eat there as his customers.

"I have all friends and family, I don't have a customer. Nobody comes here all those years and feels like a customer," Georgogianis said.

Spiros said he plans to take some well-deserved rest.

"Right now, I'm gonna take off for a couple of months. I'm gonna spend some time with my wife because that's all we've been doing is working," Georgogianis said.

After working 75 hours a week for 45 years, Spiros Georgogianis is closing Alexander's in Petersburg