Closed Restaurant Was Local Tradition

The realities of running a small business can be absolutely brutal. And as anyone who owns one understands, the personal sacrifices can be enormous.

As we reported this week, a landmark in Bellaire, Rigas Restaurant, has closed. The decision to do that was made by Clara Rigas, who, with her late husband Mike, opened the restaurant 54 years ago.

We don’t know precisely what prompted Mrs. Rigas to close the restaurant’s doors. Noting that business has been good and improvements were being made at the eatery, the founders’ daughter, Rosalie Kovalyk, speculated her mother may have wanted to close “on an up-note.”

Mrs. Rigas certainly earned the right to do what she pleased with the restaurant. As her daughter put it, “She turned the key to open it up, she has the right to turn the key close it.”

All that said, it is a shame one more “mom and pop” business is closing — especially one like Rigas’ that was enjoyed so much by so many down through the years that it was viewed as a tradition.

We all have to embrace change or, as it has been said, change will run over us. Old businesses closing and new ones opening are part of the process of change. Life moves on.

That doesn’t make it any easier to lose local mainstays such as Rigas Restaurant. We have no doubt our sentiment — that we’re sorry to see it go — is being echoed many times.