Legendary Wilmington restauranteur George Constantinou died late last month. He was 93.
Constantinou grew up in the business. His family ran Sophie’s Sub Shop, located at Lincoln Street and Shallcross Avenue in the City’s Forty Acres Neighborhood.
Operated by John and Sophie Constantinou from 1941 to 1951, the building now is home to Scalessa’s Old School Italian Kitchen.
The family took over the old B&O Restaurant in Trolley Square and the couple’s son, George opened Constantinou’s House of Beef at 1616 Delaware Avenue and later added a nightspot next door.
The restaurant became a mainstay for business dinners and for special occasions. George was on hand to greet customers and make sure steaks were cooked to their satisfaction.
Constantinou sold the steakhouse in the late 1980s, citing health reasons related to long work weeks. The restaurant closed in the 1990s.
The Delaware Avenue location later became the home of the long-running Catherine Rooney’s.
His son John Walter Constantinou carried on the steakhouse tradition with the opening of Walter’s, a steakhouse in the nearby Little Italy neighborhood in Wilmington. The restaurant last year marked its 25thanniversary and was honored by the City of Wilmington.
In a social media post, Harry’s Savoy Grill and Kid Shelleen’s owner Xavier Teixido describedGeroge Constantinou as “an icon and an innovator in the restaurant business. He was a great businessman who had a real passion for the art of hospitality. He was always very kind to me and very humble about all that he accomplished. May you rest in peace.”
Click here for a link to his obituary.