Anopoli, the family-owned Bay Ridge diner known for its homemade ice cream, has closed after more than a century on Third Avenue.
Owners of the eatery posted the announcement outside of their business over the weekend.
“After 26 years, we decided it is time to close our doors,” their message read. “We like to thank you for the years of loyalty and patronage. It has been our pleasure to serve you and be part of your memories.”
Many enjoyed the old-school feel of the Greek-style diner, complete with green vinyl booths, tiled floor and a nostalgic bar counter that always displayed an array of treats. As news of Anopoli’s closure began to spread, locals quickly took to social media to share their appreciation for the decades-old diner, and mourn the neighborhood’s loss.
Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10 and a frequent patron of the eatery, told Brooklyn Paper she was shocked and saddened by the news as many have enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and food at Anopoli.
“Such a well loved diner. It was a beautiful small local diner with a really nice interior and design,” she said. “I know it will be sorely missed but we wish the owners well. They served the community for so many years.”
Bianca Papas, who runs a facebook page highlighting southern Brooklyn bars and restaurants, said the business was a big part of Bay Ridge’s culture.
“Anopoli has always been known as [one of] the oldest restaurants in Bay Ridge. It’s absolutely iconic to Bay Ridge,” Papas said. “This is another thing we’re losing that’s a part of our history here. Hopefully someone will salvage it and keep it charming.”
Anopoli originally stood as an ice cream shop in the late 1800s, opening between Ovington Avenue and Bay Ridge Avenue way back in 1897 — at which time it served just five flavors of ice cream. In 1995, Steve Saviolakis and his family took over after emigrating from Greece, renaming the business Anopoli Ice Cream Parlor & Family Restaurant and adding a full lunch and dinner menu.
“People feel at home here,” Steve’s son Manny told Brooklyn Paper when the shop celebrated its 115th birthday. “You feel the atmosphere, the hospitality — try a scoop of this, a scoop of that — we make people happy.”
Community members like Papas loved that the Saviolakis maintained the traditional ambience with fresh treats made in-house. Dan Texeria, president of the thoroughfare’s business-boosting group, the Merchants of Third Avenue, called the news a “big loss to the area.”
While the Saviolakis family hasn’t publicly shared the reason for Anopoli’s closing, Texeria speculated it could be due to rent increases or the rising cost of food — factors hitting Brooklyn businesses by-and-large in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anopoli joins a host of other Brooklyn businesses that have shuttered since 2020 — among them, Carroll Gardens Classic Diner, Angry Wade’s bar, and New Corner restaurant, to name a few.