Well over 100 days after passing his restaurant into trusting hands, Theo Theodosakis said he’s been enjoying retirement.
The long-time owner of Theo’s on Main Street handed the keys over to family friend and past restaurant manager Greg Condonopoulos on July 1.
“It was a good time for me, because I’m getting older,” said Theodosakis. “It was good to be here all these years – 45 years.”
Condonopoulos said nearly 1,000 people came to celebrate Theodosakis’ final weekend at the restaurant, triple the amount of people the restaurant sees in one evening.
“We ran out of food the last night. We never run out of food,” Condonopoulos laughed.
But guests are treated to seeing Theodosakis, who pops in for coffee in the morning and occasionally during dinner hour.
With today being his 84th birthday, Theodosakis knows where he’ll be spending it, too.
Condonopoulos said he’s proud to be running the restaurant, having worked as the manager back in the 1990s before moving to the Lower Mainland to build a career in the hospitality industry.
Now, well over his first 100 days into owning Theo’s, Condonopoulos said it’s “gratifying to see” new and returning customers.
“You see all our reviews, I go to all the tables ad people say, ‘Oh, it’s just like it was before. It’s very gratifying,” he said. “Many people have guests from out of town, and they always want to bring their guests here. They want to show off their favourite restaurant.”
Condonopoulos promised to bring back traditional Greek dancing and belly dancers, and delivered: the entertainment has been so popular, in fact, he plans to keep the shows going every Friday and Saturday night into the winter.
“People like it, so we kept right through,” he said. “Last weekend, my staff got up … some of the customers came and danced, broke some dishes – it was fun.”
His hard work doesn’t stop there: Condonopoulos spends upwards of 12 hours a day in the restaurant, greeting guests at their tables and ensuring they and staff are taken care of.
Theodosakis added Condonopoulos purchased a home not far from the restaurant so he’s always close by.
Condonopoulos paid his thanks to his staff, an integral part of helping run the restaurant.
“It’s been good! I’m happy,” he said. “It’s a lot of work.”