WOODSTOCK – Angelo's Restaurant has changed ownership and will get a new name after remodeling to reverse some of the changes made during filming for the show "Restaurant: Impossible."
Peter Mourelatos and Dennis Paloumbis, brothers-in-law who opened the diner almost four decades ago on the Woodstock Square, sold the business two weeks ago to George Kanakaris.
Kanakaris will close the restaurant, 117 E. Van Buren St., for a week to 10 days in early January, renovate and reopen as Papa G's.
Renovation plans include reinstalling booths, putting back the original counter, painting and decorating, Kanakaris said. He said he wants to "bring it back to the original Angelo's," before "Restaurant: Impossible."
Angelo Mourelatos, Peter's son who helped with the business throughout the years, said his family decided it was time to move on and that his parents, aunt and uncle were ready to retire.
But renovations during the Food Network show played at least a minor role in the decision and proved to be a double-edged sword.
Under the guidance of host Robert Irvine, the show provided about $10,000 in restaurant remodeling during a couple of days of April filming. But, while customers reacted positively to some changes, others didn't go over well – to the point more work was needed to get back on track, Mourelatos said.
"It was almost as if the restaurant needed additional remodeling after the 'Restaurant: Impossible' [crew] made those changes," he said. "And that was a factor in us wanting to move on."
Mourelatos said it puts the family at ease to be passing the business to an owner they trust and who is familiar with McHenry County. Kanakaris is the father of Niko Kanakaris, owner of Niko's Red Mill Tavern in Woodstock and several other McHenry County restaurants.
George Kanakaris opened the first Papa G's in Huntley about 25 years ago, but sold it about 12 years ago, he said. He opened another location in Elburn, which he sold earlier this year.
Mourelatos said his family will miss the people involved with the restaurant from both sides but feel they've left it in good hands.
"Thank you to McHenry County, the city of Woodstock and everyone for close to 40 years of their patronage," he said. "They were like family to us."