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The Real Greek Tragedy Behind Closing of NY’s Scotty’s Diner

One of the first Greek diners to go under during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York city was Scotty's Diner, a coffee shop near Grand Central Station owned and operated by the brothers Theo and Stelios Groutas, who shut down early in 2020. 

It left an indelible hole in the heart of regulars, such as writer Jonathan Coleman who wrote for the site Curbed about the motley crew of characters who were constants there, enjoying the Greek burgers and other foods the brothers served up, curiously answering to the name Scotty, for an owner long gone. 

Of Teddy, Coleman said, “when I told him I made my living as a writer, he lifted his eyebrows and looked at me as if I had come from outer space, or was a wolverine from the Upper Peninsula. I knew what he was thinking, because I had seen the look before: That’s not a real job.” 

But when the tourists didn't come out of fear and the downtown workers stayed home and street traffic ended, so too Scotty's, with a bigger loss: Theo's wife Loretta, who was taken by the Coronavirus. 

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