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Mill Race Inn in Geneva closes

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

GENEVA — A venerable restaurant and Geneva landmark closed its doors on Sunday.

Owners of the Mill Race Inn, 4 E. State St., announced their closing to employees earlier in the week.

“Unfortunately, we just fell victim to the economic times,” co-owner George Roumeliotis said Friday of the abrupt announcement.

The Mill Race Inn has operated in Geneva for more than 75 years. Originally, it was a blacksmith shop built in 1892 by Julius and Edward Alexander. More recently, it has been the site of private parties, weddings and election victory celebrations for politicians.

The family had run the business for six years after operating Horwath’s restaurant in Elmwood Park for 26 years.

Roumeliotis, who is the younger of the father-and-son-owned business, said the restaurant’s demise began when heavy flooding from the Fox River damaged the riverside restaurant on two separate occasions. One of the floods was so drastic that the owners were forced to close its Mill Grill altogether.

“There were a lot of people disappointed we couldn’t open that,” he said.

As time went on, foot traffic slowed at Mill Race Inn. Roumeliotis, who operates the restaurant with his father, Charlie, added that after looking at the rise in minimum wage, property taxes, corporate taxes and the state income tax, the numbers just didn’t add up.

The business served its last meal Sunday and closed at the end of the business day.

“Anyone that would like to come in and say goodbye, it would be wonderful to see people,” Roumeliotis said.

Roumeliotis said he does not know what lies ahead for him. “That’s the million-dollar question,” he said.

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