This original brownstone & family restaurant is one of the very last to stand in this fast changing neighborhood. Generations of families have kept open this restaurant for the love of making homemade food and authentic pizza since 1965.
When we first opened this was a very bad neighborhood, but the love we have for serving our customers and neighbors our 1st class quality food has kept us here going strong. Our homemade food style from back home is what keeps our customers coming back for more.
Many years have passed even though we were offered millions to move out – we refused. This is not only a restaurant but our home that is full of wonderful memories of the past and of our family members which no amount of money can replace
On 42nd street near 12th avenue, next to the Chinese consulate and across from the new river place residential tower stands a brownstone with white façade and time-green fire escapes and windowsills. It was a gray day last November.
“Thirty-seven years I’ve been here,” says Louis Gritsipis, taking a break inside his restaurant on the building’s first floor. Mr. Gritsipis, who is in his early 60’s, owns the building and lives with his wife and two children in one of three upstairs apartments.
“I had difficult years, with the drug dealers and criminals,” he says. “The 60’s, 70’s – forget about it. They used to cut the roof, break through the wall. I would open the store at 5:30: no eggs, no ham, no cash register.” Mr. Gritsipis laps two fingers to his temple. “Seven times I was held up.”
The strain of those encounters doesn’t show in his face. But his expression tightens when he talks about certain changes in the neighborhood.
The area has been cleaned up and it is much safer, improvements for which he credits Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Yet it’s not just the bad characters that have been swept out.
“Lunchtime used to be all locals, packed in like sardines,” he says. Now he relies on tourists. “I prefer to have my neighbors know each other. We used to know each other.”
New York Times, 11/7/04
New York Times, 11/26/13
Ta Nea Greek Paper, 11/27/13
Ethnos Greek Paper, 11/30/13
New Post Greek News Paper, 12/16/13