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Little Pete’s is disappearing from Center City sooner than anyone thought.

Although developers for the hotel that will replace the iconic diner at 17th and Chancellor had set August 31 as the deadline for vacating the space, owner Pete Koutroubas has decided to shut down earlier. He’s also throwing a farewell party.

As reported by Philly Chit Chat, the last day of operation for Little Pete’s will be Monday, May 29 — Memorial Day. On the following Tuesday, Koutroubas is planning a block party to thank his many customers.

“I appreciate them!” he told Billy Penn. “They’ve patronized me for 39 years.”

He’s still working on permits for the event, which he sees as taking over Chancellor Street for a few hours with live music and Greek festival food.

“I opened that place when I was 20 years old,” he said. “I’m gonna miss it. But nothing lasts forever.”

Koutroubas still has the Fairmount location of Little Pete’s, where he arrives every morning at 3 a.m. to prepare the housemade sauces and dressings on the menu. He and his brother John Koutroubas, who ran the Center City outpost, are looking for a new space, but are in no rush.

“Rent in Center City is way too expensive,” he said, suggesting that he might focus his search on Fishtown: “It’s a coming up area.”

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Danya Henninger

Danya Henninger is director of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the...