is a Greek with a gift
Questions are optional around George
, as he's
known by all, customers and staff.
known by customers at Athens on 4th Avenue because he
makes it a point to be known.
will readily bring up his
own discussion topics.
"We don't own a deep fryer," George
said while expounding on the virtues of olive oil.
is a defining presence at Athens on 4th.
greets patrons, chats with them like family, is famous for his
wine recommendations, may take an order, may even cook up a dish or two and "I do a majority of the prep."
It's hard to believe George
has been on the scene for only two or so years.
came to Tucson from San Diego with his
wife, Cyriana, the daughter of Athens owner Andreas Delfakis.
Cyriana had moved to San Diego a few years earlier.
When the Varnasidis pair arrived, Delfakis offered them co-ownership and George serves as general manager, whatever that means.
"It's everything," George
is a people person.
"I look at people like a TV show," George
has a pet peeve about restaurants that turn customers away near closing time.
I never wanted to do management," George
"Here I just let the staff be themselves."
recruited server/hostess Sam Lemons at a service station, where he
was impressed with her
nice retail attire as she
stood at a pump.
"Everybody loves George
," Lemons said.
Everybody comes to see George
dug out Voss' business card from the stack of cards he
pulled from his
, 51, lived his
first 12 years in a little village in Greece before his
family headed to Germany on the way to Chicago, where he
lived for 30 years.