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Tales of a Restaurateur - Freeman James

Freeman James

Over our thirty-five years in business at Christos Greek Restaurants, we entertained many celebrities: Musicians like Elvis Costello and Donny ...
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During the unrest of the summer of 2020, many businesses in South Minneapolis boarded up their windows to protect their ...
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TALES OF A RESTAURATEUR is a book I am currently writing with stories I’ve been compiling over the years about some of the customers and friends who have supported Christos, employees who worked alongside us, those who helped us get started and succeed, and even a few who put obstacles in our way!

My stories share the adventures of owning and operating Christos Greek restaurants for more than thirty-five years. Some paint a picture of the world I left behind to come to this country. Others provide a glimpse into my student years in New York City. Still others go back further to my childhood and adolescence on the northern coast of the island of Cyprus, where I was born.

As I write, Carol, my wife of forty-eight years, provides inspiration by helping me select the stories I tell. She is attuned to the preferences and tastes of our customers and understands their sensitivities and sensibilities better than any of us at Christos. Of course, many of the experiences described in these stories are ones she and I shared together.

We offer these stories to our customers and friends as a thank you and a personal invitation behind the scenes in our sometimes insane, often challenging but always fascinating world. Enjoy!

Christos History: Our first restaurant opened in 1988 on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. We expanded to the historic Union Depot train station in St. Paul in 1996, and to Minnetonka in 2007. Along the way, catering added a new dimension to the business. After a spectacular twenty-year run, the Union Depot operation closed in 2016 after Ramsey County acquired the property and changed the rules. The pandemic was a contributing factor in our decision to sell the Minnetonka property in 2021 after a successful fourteen-year run. But our Minneapolis restaurant is going strong on Nicollet Avenue, and our catering business is thriving.