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The Parthenon Crippled By Over $500K in Unpaid Bills & Taxes

Greektown landmark didn’t sell enough flaming cheese

Unpaid bills and taxes led to the shutter.
Ashok Selvam
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Over the last year, the owners of The Parthenon were swarmed by unpaid bills and taxes, along with lawsuits that led to the Greektown landmark’s closing after 48 years. The Sun-Times spoke with owner Chris Liakouras, who detailed the restaurant’s woes. Altogether, The Parthenon owed the IRS and state about $475,000.

The owners told the newspaper they are willingly going into negotiations to pay their taxes. The Sun-Times also reported three lawsuits over unpaid bills. One pending law suit involved an attorney who said he represented the restaurant and another resolved case involved unpaid ComEd electricity bills. A third involved money owed to a meat market. Those three total about $40,000.

A fourth lawsuit over a customer who claimed he got sick at the restaurant was also apparently resolved, but details weren’t available, according to the Sun-Times.

Besides the lawsuits the Sun-Times reported, there’s also one filed against Liakouras’ wife. Lorraine Rieff-Liakouras owns the neighboring building the included The Parthenon’s banquet hall and a hostel. She opened a restaurant, Aviva, earlier this year and then quickly closed in the banquet hall. She had hired a consulting chef, Alan Lake, for that project. Lake is now suing Rieff-Liakouras for $13,250. The case was filed in May and is currently in the discovery phase. Rieff-Liakouras has plans to open a sports bar in that space next month. Though the building neighbors the restaurant, Rieff-Liakouras said the businesses were independent from The Parthenon.

All in all, it’s a sad end for the birthplace of flaming cheese. Chicago details flaming saganaki’s importance and offers tips on how to make it at home.

The Parthenon

314 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 726-2407 Visit Website