According to stories in both the Village Voice and Brooklyn Paper Alex Tombrakos, the beloved owner of the neighborhood institution Vegas Diner, died Friday April 15th at the age of 70 from bone cancer. It’s a fitting testament to such a popular figure in the neighborhood that Mr. Tombrakos’ death would warrant obituaries in not one but two newspapers, one borough-wide and one citywide. Few readers of either paper probably even knew who Alex Tombrakos was but his famous work ethic and reputation for serving good, reasonably priced food won him respect from food writers across the city. Tombrakos opened the Vegas Diner on April 5, 1982, in the midst of a snow storm, one of many signs of his determination to be successful no matter what.
Alex Tombrakos leaves behind a wife, daughter and granddaughter.
The Vegas Diner, located on 86th Street between 16th Avenue and Bay 13th Street, is still open for business as this post is being written.