Chris Balouris didn’t have to go far to learn the diner business in the Pittsburgh area town of Bellevue, Pennsylvania: his father, Themistocles and uncles Anthony and John ‘Yani’ Balouris owned and operated the Bellevue Restaurant, a diner serving classic American fare.
He kept it close to the family when he opened his own. Very close.
He opened his diner two just blocks away from where his father and uncles once worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week for 38 years, said the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He named it Evia Greek, after the island north of Athens where they grew up.
The restaurant opened – with take out – in November, 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging and restaurants closing across the country but he said, it went great from afar,” with good sales out of the gate.
That’s how his father did it, coming to the United States in 1957 at the age of 27, then passing on the knowledge to his son.
He said everything is prepared fresh, and using family recipes so that customers will eat “like Greeks eat in Greece.”