"People came from all over the city to eat at Cosmos," recalls John Jordan, a friend of the Koulakis family and a former employee of Cosmos Snack Bar.
For several years, Jordan worked with Tony Koulakis, the founder of the popular greasy spoon landmark.
"He touched people from all over the world," Jordan told CBC's All in a Weekend.
Family has confirmed to CBC that Koulakis died early Saturday morning at his home in St-Laurent.
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Cooking from the heart
Koulakis, who immigrated to Montreal from Greece, had a personality that attracted and entertained customers for years at his 11-seat restaurant in the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.
Famous for its high-calorie meals, Cosmos was featured in a documentary in 2000.
In "Man of Grease," Koulakis senior is revealed to the world as a colourful personality, who worked for over 30 years without taking a vacation.
'I like to give good, fresh stuff … that's why the people love me so much.'—Tony Koulakis, founder of Cosmos
"From my heart I cook for the customers," Koulakis tells the camera in an outtake from the film.
"I like to give good, fresh stuff … that's why the people love me so much."
When Koulakis retired several years ago, the business was taken over by his children.
Jordan says the vibe of the diner may have changed since then, but it still remains a favourite for many.
"Nikos and Niki took over and it became more of their restaurant and the crowd got a bit younger, but the spirit was always there," Jordan says.
Police investigate homicide
Nikos Koulakis, one of Tony's sons, has identified the suspect in the homicide investigation as his brother Yannis, also known as Jonny.
Police confirmed the 86-year-old man was stabbed to death at his St-Laurent home early Saturday morning. Officials arrested the 40-year-old suspect at the scene of the crime.
Yannis Koulakis is expected to face charges of second-degree murder.