Washington, D.C. (ABC7) — Customers say the Greek Deli in Northwest is a D.C. staple – a favorite of everyone including presidents and politicians.
However, the owners of the small business say they are struggling and are dangerously close to closing.
Now, they are reaching out for help from their customers in a letter that sits at the entrance of the deli.
"Before you die, you must try the lemon soup at the Greek Deli," said Kostas Fostieris "This is the famous lemon soup."
Kostas has owned and operated the Greek Deli on 19th Street NW for the last 31 years.
The local family-owned restaurant is known for its famous and authentic Greek dishes – like the baklava.
“Oh my God! Regular days – before coronavirus – 200 pieces a day" said Kostas.
Just before 10 am on Thursday morning, two regulars were in line placing their lunch order before the business even opened. “I know about 500-700 names by memory. I know Mary, Tony, Nick."
The restaurant is decorated with articles over the years by outlets like the Washington Post and Washingtonian.
It also has portraits of former presidents with signatures including Barack Obama, George Bush and President Donald Trump.
"Here is a picture of the Chief of Washington" Kostas points.
Now, this D.C. institution has found themselves in danger of closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They were closed for two months at the beginning of the pandemic and have been trying to catch up ever since.
“It’s not like it used to be. I used to have 5-6 employees, now I only have two” Kostas explained.
He said there used to be a line out the door and now it's more like a ghost town.
So, he put out this plea on social media writing “I need your support more than ever."
Folks - I have 2 priorities in life. My family and my customers. For 31 years, I have lived to serve you high quality food. I am here in rain, sleet, snow and the pandemic. Today, I need your support more than ever. Please tell everyone that The Greek Deli is here to serve you! Let us put together your next family dinner. Thank you for the last 31 years and I hope to serve you for another 31!