After serving the neighborhood since 2016, Greek restaurant Under the Bridge has closed its doors.
Named for its location on East 59th Street and First Avenue under the Queensboro Bridge overpass, the eatery served what they called “traditional Greek food.” Their website highlighted octopus served as saganaki, spanakopita ‘a la plancha’ with homemade phyllo dough and lamb with artichokes and herbs.
They announced their closing via Instagram, explaining that, “After the passing of the restaurant’s owner, Dimitri Sarantopoulos, in October 2023…the family is unable to sign a new lease and have had to make the incredibly difficult decision to permanently close.” Fans of the restaurant made their feelings clear in Instagram comments, many using the word “heartbroken” to describe how the closing affects them and thanking the owners for years of great food and wonderful staff. One user commented that they “loved every meal at your beautiful place.”
According to his obituary, Sarantopoulos was a native of Athens, Greece who moved to New York in the 1990s and ran several restaurants with his wife Anna.
Eater announced the opening back in 2016, noting that Chef Panos Tsaglis was taking the helm in the kitchen after working as chef at UES Greek favorite Korali Estiatorio (93rd and Third Ave). Like the social media comments, online reviews also showed how loved the restaurant was, not just for the food, but for the staff and atmosphere with many giving a nod to the friendly service.
The area near the Queensboro bridge has seen quite a bit of change over the last several years. Once home to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond and a Food Emporium, it now boasts the long-requested and now popular Upper East Side Trader Joe’s location. There are also several new establishments within a few blocks, with comedy club Rodney’s recently opening and cocktail bar Shaken Not Stirred coming soon.