Columnist Mike Newall provides a sweet farewell today to Sandy's, a neighborhood institution at 24th and Locust Streets whose owners Stella and Nick Mitoulis have retired after nearly 40 years.

The next occupant of the corner will be an Italian BYOB called Ambrosia.

Just as the Mitoulises are Greek immigrants grabbing their piece of the American dream, so are new owners Fredi Loka and George Profi, who emigrated in the 1990s from Albania after decades of communist rule. (Many Albanian emigres passed through Italy and secured restaurant jobs there, taking their skills to the United States.)

Loka, the chef, has a solid background at such Philadelphia restaurants as Branzino, La Vigna, and Caffe Casta Diva, as well as Il Villagio in Cherry Hill. Profi owns Profi's Creperie at Reading Terminal Market.

Loka said Ambrosia, specializing in housemade pasta, will be open for lunch and dinner and will be priced for the neighborhood. He also said it would have an open kitchen — exactly how Sandy's operated.

They're targeting a late-November opening, following some work that will include new windows.