Downtown staple Mascot restaurant set to close
A downtown London landmark diner will soon be closing its doors after more than four decades of serving up daily specials to commuters and area workers.
The owners of the Mascot Family Restaurant on Dundas Street just east of Richmond Street are calling it a career after 43 years in business.
Long-time customer Bill Smyrniof says he'll miss his favourite lunch spot, "Peter's one of the last of the maitre d' - hosts, great hosts in the restaurant industry. I think we're really going to miss that style of entrepreneurship."
Regular and local business owner John Nash says it's going to be hard to stomach "Just like I would miss breathing if I couldn't breathe any more. I'm in here three or four days a week.
It's been a family operation since the beginning, but with their families now grown co-owner Peter Vergiris says it was time to call it a career..
"After 43 years [it] was big decision for me, but we had to make a decision and so we come to the point we can retire."
Janette MacDonald at Downtown London says the restaurant's longevity is quite an achievement.
"They've been here for years, they've recognized that downtown was our first commercial area, and they've stuck through it thick and thin so thanks to them."
The business has been bought by downtown proprietor Mike Manuel. He won't reveal his plans, but says he's hoping to match the success of his predecessors.
"So sad to see them leave, but also happy at the same time that they're retiring at good time of their life."
As for the secret ingredient to their success, Vergiris says it's quite simple, "We work hard, we give good food and we have lots of friends who support us all these years to keep us in business."
The Mascot's last day will be Sept. 30.