Burnt Hills Cafe owner dies suddenly, mourned by patrons, staff
Updated 9:32 p.m.
This story has been updated to correct the place where Mr. Ktenas died.
Patrons and employees of the Burnt Hills Cafe were shocked to learn that longtime owner Dimitrios “Jimmy” Ktenas died Tuesday.
Ktenas simply did not wake up Tuesday morning, said Rose Merrills, a server who has worked with Ktenas since he opened the cafe in 1992.
Ktenas died at his Ballston home.
According to an obituary posted on the funeral home’s website, Ktenas, 72, was born in Greece and served in the Greek Armed Forces. He immigrated to the United States in 1961 and was associated with local eateries, including the Van Dyck Restaurant in Schenectady and the Gateway Diner in Albany, before opening the Burnt Hills Cafe.
Merrills said Ktenas was devoted to the business.
“He was an awful hard worker. All he cared about was his business and his family,” she said. “He never had any outside activities outside of being here.”
Ktenas will be missed for his sense of humor, Merrills said.
“He liked to joke around. He liked to give you the raspberries, you know what I mean? He made us laugh,” she said.
Ktenas leaves behind his wife, Ioanna, daughters Alexandra Ktenas Casey and Diamanto Ktenas, brother Haralambos Ktenas and granddaughter Gianna Morgan Casey.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Road, Glenville.
A service will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church, 107 Clinton St., Schenectady.
The cafe will close Sunday at 2 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.