Restaurant patriarch dies following accident at home

Minnetonka resident Bill Nicklow died while in a coma Sept. 16 at Methodist Hospital following a serious fall at his home.

Nicklow suffered a concussion from the fall four days earlier on Sept. 12 – leading to his coma.

Bill Nicklow

Bill Nicklow

More information on the accident is not available and the Sun Sailor has contacted Minnetonka Police Department for further details.

Nicklow, 75, is the prominent and prolific restaurant patriarch of the Nicklow family, which has owned and operated several Twin Cities restaurants since the ‘60s.

Nicklow locations include Santorini Restaurant in Eden Prairie, Santorini Taverna & Grill in St. Louis Park, Nicklow’s Restaurant in Crystal and Nicklow’s Café & Bar in Spring Lake Park.

Nicklow was born in Thebes, Greece, in 1938 and immigrated to Minnesota in 1952 at the age of 13. He graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis five years later, and he and his brothers Jimmy and Tony later opened many Best Steak Houses locations in the Twin Cities.

In 1971, Nicklow opened the Shorewood Inn Restaurant in Fridley with his brother Jimmy, and six years later in 1977, he opened Nicklow’s Restaurant in Crystal with his brother Tony, which closed in 2000.

Shorewood Inn Restaurant closed in 2005 and was re-opened in 2009.

In 1978, Nicklow opened Nicklow’s Café & Bar in Spring Lake Park and in 1995, he opened Santorini Taverna & Grill in St. Louis Park with his family. The location closed more than a year ago, but the family has plans to re-open the restaurant in the city.

In 2008, the Nicklow family opened the newest Santorini Restaurant in Eden Prairie.

Since 2000, his son Tony has operated Tony’s Diner at the University of Minnesota campus in Dinkytown.

Nicklow was a revered man in the Twin Cities Greek community. He was referred to as a “diamanti,” the diamond – a leader, a giver, a sharing and generous and loving man in the family and a real treasure to the business and community, according to a statement from the Nicklow family.

He was a father figure to his brothers. Their father was killed in World War II.

“Bill was the father we never had, our brother and best friend,” his brothers said in a statement.

Nicklow was also a supporter of community health needs. He and the family supported the Heart Hospital at the University of Minnesota and the many children and families who traveled from Greece for heart surgeries.

Nicklow and his brothers have sponsored the Children’s Miracle Network annual Golf Tournament for the last 20 years, which has raised more than half a million dollars.

Bill Nicklow is survived by his wife, Libby; and children, Lia, Yan and Tony; two brothers, James and Anthony and their families.

The funeral service took place Sept. 20 followed by a burial service at Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis.

Matthew Hankey is at matthew.hankey@ecm-inc.com

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