A year after beloved owners’ deaths, Arlington Heights’ Uptown Cafe closes

After the tragic deaths of owners Georgios and Georgene Avgeris just days apart last year, family members soldiered on to keep the couple’s Uptown Cafe in Arlington Heights open.

But now, after 34 years of dishing breakfast favorites to loyal patrons, the cafe’s operators announced Saturday that the popular restaurant at 24 E. Miner St. has served its last meal.

“The day has finally come for us to hang up our hats and rest knowing Uptown Cafe will always hold our fondest memories and have a special place in so many hearts,” reads a Facebook post signed by the Kavathas and Avgeris family.

“Over the last 34 years we have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” the post reads. “We offer our most sincere thank you to you, our friends turned family, who have been loyal through it all. Together we celebrated holidays and milestones in your families, survived a fire and pandemic, blessed thousands of children with toys at Christmas, and grieved unthinkable heartaches.”

Georgios, 64, and Georgene, 63, of Elk Grove Village, owned Uptown Cafe for 33 years, working side by side with Georgene’s father, Dino Kavathas, and brother, Dimitri Kavathas.

In September 2022, Georgios lost his battle with ALS. Georgene, who had been beset by heart valve and kidney problems, passed away three days later.

Dimitri Kavathas said at the time that some customers and family thought the two wanted to be together.

“Romeo and Juliet is what they called it,” he said.

The service at Saint Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine was heavily attended by the community.

The cafe continued to serve customers, who filled up on eggs and bacon, waffles, pancakes and crepes, served with the love that made the restaurant a breakfast mainstay in the community.

In their farewell message Saturday, the owners thanked their dedicated staff, calling them “the heart and soul of Uptown Cafe” and quoted Winnie the Pooh.

“How lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?” they wrote.

  A sign on the door at Uptown Cafe in Arlington Heights last year announced the passing of owners Georgios and Georgene Avgeris. The eatery closed over the weekend. (Paul Valade/, 2022) Paul Valade/
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