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Pano's owner taking offers on Elmwood restaurant

Pano Georgiadis wants to put a stop to the rumors that he's sold his landmark Elmwood Avenue restaurant.

There's no sale, not even a signed agreement.

"I still own the restaurant," he said Tuesday evening. "The restaurant is here, and I am here, seven days a week."

But one part of the rumor is true: Pano's on Elmwood is for sale. And his neighbor could be the one to buy it.

After 41 years in business, the 72-year-old owner of the Greek-themed restaurant is looking for someone to buy him out. And he's entertaining offers.

Already, he said, two local businessmen have approached him to buy his property and restaurant, located at 1081 Elmwood.

The first, a restaurateur who owns a local taco restaurant, met with him and offered a cash deal.

But Georgiadis said "he never showed up, or the cash." And Georgiadis denied the rumor that the businessman closed a deal.

The second is Pano's next-door neighbor, Mark Chason, whose Chason Affinity Cos. is erecting a four-story condominium project at the corner of Elmwood and Forest avenues, with 40 for-sale units. That's directly adjacent to Pano's restaurant.

Jeffrey Birtch, CEO of Chason Affinity, said he "wouldn't comment on anything that's pending or under negotiation or anything like that." He noted the developer is "not in the restaurant business," but acknowledged that they could hire someone else to run it. The site also could be attractive for Chason given the millions of dollars now being spent on the condo project next door.

Georgiadis said Chason is "interested, but he didn't buy it yet." But they're still talking, he added.

"They're very nice people. They're very business-like," Georgiadis said. "If they want to buy the place, I'm sure they have the money to do so."

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