PEORIA – After over 30 years in business Sterling family restaurant is set to permanently close.
The Sterling family restaurant first opened its doors to Peoria in 1987, and now is set to close them for good this December 29th. The owner, Louie Trilikis, who immigrated to central Illinois 31 years ago from Greece is retiring this year and not renewing his building lease.
Sterling served many families over the years on its Sterling Avenue location across from Northwoods Mall. Among those who dined at Sterling is former president Gorge W. Bush leading it to sometimes being referred to as “The place where George ate”.
The building will be getting torn down after the lease runs out and the owners do not plan to relocate.
Trilikis said his favorite part of owning the restaurant was the people he got to meet in doing so. he said the business brought him happiness and added he hopes to see as many of his regulars as he can before closing his doors.
“There’s not too many family-style restaurants left in Peoria anymore. It’s gonna be sad to see this place go. A lot of the customers, when we’ve been telling them. They’ve been crying too,” said Deedee Rickard who has been a server at Louie’s for 9 years.
Elizabeth Medina moved to Peoria from Chicago 25 years ago. That’s when she found Louie’s Sterling Family Restaurant, and she’s worked there ever since.
“Thanks to this place, I’m who I am. I’m very happy. Maybe I’m not the richest girl in the world, but I’m happy. And that counts,” said Medina.
Rickard says customers and employees have built a tremendous relationship over the years.
“Our customers are just like our family. We have some that come every day, some that come breakfast lunch and dinner every day. I hate to use this term, it’s kinda like Cheers. Everybody knows your name here,” Rickard said.
Rickard says this is all thanks to their boss, Louie.
“All of us girls call him the BBE. That’s the best boss ever. And he holds true to that. He’s a great boss. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. He helps us whenever he can help us. When we’re super busy or just whenever. And that’s rare, that’s rare for bosses to be hands-on,” Rickard said.
Medina says the restaurant has many things to offer those who walk through its doors, and it makes her sad the restaurant is closing.
“Everyone is very friendly that’s why everybody comes back to our restaurant, and we have great food,” Medina said.
Louie tells WMBD he is ready for retirement, but loved his time owning the restaurant.