It was my Greek grandfather, who opened our first family restaurant in America. There he is seated at the counter in the photo above with his brothers and staff surrounding him. The Splendid Cafe' opened in NYC in 1910 and served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What I wouldn't give for one of those original menus. Check out the stacks of cigar boxes on the right.
This is our next restaurant - the Bar-B-Q Matic in Akron, Ohio. 1940. It was famous for the rosemary and garlic rotisserie chickens that turned in the window. My grandfather, "Pop" - as us grandkids called him - had the ingenious idea to position the vent so that the aroma of the roasting birds wafted out into the street and drew in a hungry and faithful clientele. It was also known for its broiled steaks and chops.
And then came - Dallas. The Golden Nugget was located on Harry Hines Blvd. back when Harry Hines was a busy Restaurant Row. People rode their horses there and tied them up out front. Each cowhide booth had its own juke box that played great old Country Western songs and there was also a big Wurlitzer in back. We loved the saddle-seats at the counter, the wagon-wheel chandeliers, and the longhorns that hung on the walls. I was so young I had to climb up in the booths to bus them. The Golden Nugget served everything from eggs in the skillet to hamburgers, spaghetti, ribs, and our delicious Mexican platter.
The Papageorge Family in front of the Bar-B-Q Matic in Akron, Ohio.
And in front of Lefty's in 1995.
We've served our finest to Laborers, Dignitaries, the Famous, and the Infamous.