John’s Country Kitchen, a fixture on the breakfast scene in Charlotte, will close Saturday after 38 years at the corner of Thomas Avenue and Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood.
The restaurant's owners, Jimmy Margiotis and his wife, Maria, are closing the business because the landlord is upping the rent, Jimmy Margiotis said.
“The landlord and myself couldn’t come to an agreement on the rent,” said Jimmy Margiotis.
He said the restaurant is embedded with memories that trace back to his childhood.
“I was eleven years old when we opened that place up,” Margiotis said of the family business launched by his father, John. “I started cooking myself, and then I started cooking for customers and next thing you know it, the customers wanted my food.”
“It’s a very sad day. It’s very emotional,” he said.
A Facebook commenter on the John’s Country Kitchen fan page wrote: “Choked up and holding back tears as I leave this place for the last time after breakfast this morning. This was the first place we visited regularly upon moving to Charlotte 13 years ago, a place where I built a friendship over a weekly ‘mom's’ breakfast and a place where each time you go in, you feel right at home.”
The Margiotises co-own another restaurant in south Charlotte, The Rusty Onion, located in Carmel Commons. Although that restaurant’s cuisine and atmosphere is completely different from John’s Country Kitchen, Jimmy Margiotis is confident his breakfast customers will flock to the pizzeria.
“I (have) a big following,” he said. “I know a lot of people.”