The Greek seafooder Dmitri’s, which rode the downtown residential boom in the 1990s to epitomize casual BYOB dining, has closed permanently, as its final location, in Northern Liberties, succumbed to complications of the coronavirus.
Owner Dmitri Chimes took to the restaurant’s Instagram stories Tuesday night, writing, “We are sorry to report that Dmitri’s is permanently closed. We wanted to inform you here before you read about it in the paper. COVID changed everything and the towel had to be thrown in. We love all of you, miss you, and hope you stay well.” Another message thanked customers for support, commitment, and love.
“All good things come to an end,” said Chimes. “I’ll just put it on the shelf.”
Some would argue that Dmitri’s really closed last October, when Chimes shuttered the flagship location at Third and Catharine Streets in Queen Village, which from its opening in January 1990 gave many Philadelphians their first encounter with octopus and fresh fish grilled over charcoal as they jockeyed amid the 25 seats in a spartan, always packed open kitchen. Cash-only. Always.
Chimes cited a disagreement with his landlord as well as labor issues. Around the time of the Queen Village closing, Chimes also closed the Northern Liberties location, which opened in 2010 at Second and Laurel Streets, while his landlord improved the facade. That location reopened in January 2020, about two months before the pandemic upended the restaurant scene.
Chimes had a third Dmitri’s from 2000 to 2014 at 23rd and Pine Streets, where Cotoletta Fitler Square is now, as well as a tapas restaurant at 12th and Locust Streets in Washington Square West called Pamplona.
As for the former Dmitri’s in Queen Village: In August, it’s due to become Mari BYO, from Kevin Addis of Entree BYOB at 1608 South St. Mari? Menu is seafood, and it’s “kind of a play on words — short for calamari,” Addis said.