In a year permeated by heartbreaking closures of Hamilton’s small businesses and restaurants, yet another local staple has announced that it will be closing its doors after an impressive 42 total years as a known brand in the city.
Hilltop Express, a well-loved Greek takeout spot on the Hamilton Mountain, has been serving up comfort food classics like gyros and souvlaki at its takeaway location on Upper James Street for the last 5 years.
However, on Thursday, they announced through their social media that the time has come for father-son team Bill and George Spyridonakos to formally hang up their aprons and say goodbye to Hilltop as we know it.
If the name “Hilltop” sounds familiar to you, that’s because the name has its origins in the old Hilltop Restaurant & Tavern that used to sit inside Mountain Plaza Mall. A beloved family-run eatery since 1978, the restaurant was nonetheless forced to close its original location in 2009 as the mall underwent a restructuring.
Not content to let the Hilltop name die out so easily, the Spyridonakos family spent the next few years scheming and finally landed on a smaller takeout concept, then reopening the restaurant as Hilltop Express in 2015 and focusing on simple and authentic Greek eats.
The closure of Hilltop Express is not really motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather a desire for the father-son team to spend more time with family.
“We would like to thank all of our amazing customers who have supported us over the past 5+ years,” said the restaurant in its announcement on social media. “To this day our store was more successful than we could ever have imagined.”
Thankfully, another Greek spot is set to be opening in Hilltop’s place: Alexandros Take-Out, which itself has an impressive 23 years under its belt and will be opening its first Hamilton location.
With nearly a half-century total of feeding Hamiltonians, it’s pretty clear that, though Hilltop is now gone, it certainly won’t be forgotten.
Lead image courtesy of @hilltop_express