Restaurant owner, 64, dies in Greece
Nikolaos “Nikos” George Hatzigeorgiou, who owned Friends, Too, has died.
An obituary sent by his daughter, Marianthi Hatzigeorgiou, says the restaurateur died peacefully at home on Jan. 1 in Krioneri, Greece.
Hatzigeorgiou, 64, was born in Greece and immigrated to the United States in 1981. He was a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. A celebration of life will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at the church, according to the obituary.
In addition to his daughter, Hatzigeorgiou is survived by family including a son, George “Yorgo” Hatzigeorgiou, and his brother, Vasilis “Bill” Hatzigeorgiou of Thessaloniki, Greece. His wife, Ana, died in 2017 after a long fight with a rare form of cancer. They opened the original Friends restaurant on Dupont Road in 2007, which closed on Dec. 31, 2016.
Hatzigeorgiou had previously been diagnosed with cancer and had returned to work but recently was dealing with other health issues.
“My mom’s passing was very hard on my dad,” Marianthi said in an email. “George and I were happy to see him return to the stores after her death, spending time sitting and drinking coffee with his friends. The Fort Wayne ‘Friends’ community helped him immensely in those first few months.
“When my parents set out in 2007 and opened the North store, they wished, if nothing else, people found a home away from home amidst the chaos of their days : somewhere they could join us in breaking bread. We (are) happy to see our friends feel that still takes place today.”
Hatzigeorgiou’s brother has been operating Friends, Too on Jefferson Boulevard near Jefferson Pointe.