ASTORIA – Well-known for its delicious pastries, cakes, pies, and Greek specialties, Artopolis Bakery, 23-18 31st Street in Astoria, has closed its doors, according to a report in Give Me Astoria on June 15. The National Herald has learned that the lease expired and a new location is currently being sought to reopen the beloved bakery as soon as possible.
“A staple in Astoria for nearly 17 years,” is how Give Me Astoria described it, adding that “Artopolis was known around the neighborhood for its friendly service and authentic Greek treats in the heart of Astoria.”
The rumor that Artopolis would not reopen began circulating since it had not opened even for delivery or take-out coffee and sweets during the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One of the owners of the Greek patisserie, Regina Katopodis, spoke to TNH to set the record straight and also share the plans for the future of Artopolis.
“The lease we had for the store has expired. My partners own the Agora Plaza, the building that houses Artopolis, and we have not renewed the contract. There were some issues, but I'm not going to close it. As I told them, ‘it’s a crime to close this store. It's the housewife's embassy.' For me, it's not just a shop, it's part of the neighborhood, it's part of the Greek community.”
Katopodis is looking for a new space for Artopolis in Astoria to continue, as she said, to serve the Greeks of the diaspora community. “The doors may be closed, but I'm looking for space to open them again. For my part, I cannot accept that it is closed. We are part of the Greek community. We serve Greek life from birth to death. We also support the church as much as we can with church bread. We have koufeta for christenings and weddings and so much more. I don't see it in my soul as a store, it's something more. I will bring it back to the neighborhood,” Katopodis told TNH.
She referred to the authentic Greek recipes with which all the savory and sweet items were prepared, adding that many Greeks from other States often visited the shop. "Customers from New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, are calling me and asking what happened,” Katopodis said.