The longtime Tucson Greek restaurant closed its original Tucson Mall location on Jan. 31, just shy of 32 years after John and Angeline Cotsones opened as one of the original Tucson Mall food court tenants. When they closed on Jan. 31, the restaurant was the last of the original food court operators. 

Courtesy Pappoule's

Pappoule’s Greek restaurant, a Tucson institution with more than 30 years of serving gyros, ka-bob platters and falafel at Tucson Mall, has closed two of its three restaurants.

That leaves just Pappoule’s Opa at Foothills Mall on the northwest side, which owner Michael Cotsones said will remain open. He has plans to expand the menu with more traditional Greek dishes, he said.

Catsones said he decided to close his food court restaurants at Park Place and Tucson Mall — where his family had been one of the first food court tenants when they opened in March 1982 — once his leases expired at the end of January.

“The recession hurt a little bit. And the mall is not quite what it was,” Catsones said. “The traffic doesn’t justify the rent any more. We did good there for years and years. I don’t want to disparage anything. They made us offers and we decided not to do it.”

Mall officials were not available for comment early today.

Catsones’ parents John and Angeline Cotsones opened Pappoule’s in the Tucson Mall a few years after moving here from their native Chicago in the late 1970s. They opened the Park Place food court restaurant a dozen years ago and introduced Pappoule’s Opa, a fast-casual sit-down restaurant at Foothills Mall, seven years ago. The family in December renewed the lease for another 10 years, Catsones said.

Pappoule’s also had a location downtown from 1995 to 1998 and made inroads into Phoenix in 2002 with a food court eatery at Fiesta Mall that has since closed.

See the full story in Friday’s Star.