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Kafe Neo, the much loved Greek joint in Bluff Heights, has shuttered its doors just two days after posting a notice that they would be closed until further notice. This follows the closure of At Last Cafe earlier this year, another local joint nearby that was loved by the community.
Owners and brothers Gus and Pete Sverkos took to social media to make their formal statement:
It is with a heavy heart that we are sad to announce the closing of our Kafe Neo location on 2800 e. 4th street. This was one of the most difficult decisions my brother and I have had to make and it pains us to close what was literally a dream come true.
Our most pressing concern in the short term is our employees who we consider family. We are working with them very closely to ensure this transition will be seamless for them and ensure they are not affected by this change. All our attention right now is with our employees and being there for them, now and in the future.
Our employees are amazing. Without them there would be no Kafe Neo, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication they brought every single day. Having great employees is the reason Kafe Neo was successful, we are forever indebted to them.
My brother and I have based this decision primarily on the opportunity to spend more time with our families. After seeing our parents work tirelessly for over 40 years in this very same location, we wanted to reconsider our priorities. After more than twelve years on this journey, working 7 days a week for months at a time, the challenges of maintaining the quality and service of the restaurant became taxing.
We have decided to dedicate more of our time with our young children and wives. This is the most important aspect of this decision. We look forward to watching cartoons Saturday mornings, going for breakfast on the weekends, being able to take them to school and having dinner at a regular scheduled time.
We understand this may be a disappointing time for our loyal customers, who we were proud to serve over the years. There is no better feeling than watching our customers enjoy the food we prepared and being a little part of their day. This is the reason we worked so hard. We so appreciate all of you for your loyal patronage, your support and allowing us to be a part of your lives. We will never forget the good times we had in our dining room, which we always considered our family room.
As we move forward we will always be thinking about how we can make the city, we love so much, better. We will always love Long Beach, the people, the culture and the history it has.
Thank you to our parents, Effe and Dennis Sverkos for being the reason this happened. Thank you Long Beach. Thank you neighbors. Thank you to our employees who made this dream come true.
Gus and Pete Sverkos
“Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened”
Editor’s note: Yes, the address of Kafe Neo won a recreational marijuana license months ago during the lottery—this isn’t news. But it is unclear whether the owners sold the license to another business or will be heading the business itself. The owners haven’t responded so right now it is all speculation.
They are a business, first and foremost, each with families. If they have an opportunity that makes them more money while allowing them more time to spend with their children and spouses, that should be applauded. It’s entirely legal and entirely fair.