End of an era

After 40 years in Cook St. Village, Sunbrite Laundromat closing

Alex Niketas and wife Tina spend their last weekend as owners of the Sunbrite laundromat in Cook Street Village.

Alex Niketas and wife Tina spend their last weekend as owners of the Sunbrite laundromat in Cook Street Village.

After 40 years in business at 341 Cook St., Alex Niketas is retiring.

On Saturday, the 76-year-old invited his regular customers to Sunbrite Laundromat for the last time to enjoy coffee and muffins.

“We all have mixed feelings about it,” said son Gus Niketas, adding his dad is emotional about the closure.

The fun part of the business is sitting outside the shop and chatting with people, said Gus. It was the village hangout, before the coffee shops opened.

Gus is the only one in line to take over, but he said, “it’s just not going to make you a lot of money.”

Since the laundromat opened in 1971, Alex and his wife ran the business, with some employees in the later years.

As a teenager in the 1980s, Gus started helping out, gaining him recognition at the pub as “the quarter guy from the laundromat.”

“It’s iconic,” he said, adding regulars have even come back to have their wedding photos taken at the shop.

The Niketas will lease the building to Jeff Hetherington, owner of Pig and Zambri’s. He plans to open Big Wheel Burgers by Dec. 1.