Eat of the week | Greek steak and seafood restaurant owner loves working in Pinckneyville | pinckneyville
PINCKNEYVILLE – If you’re looking for something good to eat in the Pinckneyville area, stop by the Grecian Steak and Seafood House at 502 S. Main St.
The restaurant is run by the Sandravelis family. Angelo and Hrisoula Sandravelis and their daughter Athena Luthy.
Angelo Sandravelis opened the restaurant on March 25, 1990. On December 23, 2017, the restaurant burned down. They rebuilt and opened the new building on December 2, 2019.
“I love the restaurant business – it’s what I know and it’s who I am,” Sndravelis said.
He left Greece for America at the age of 23. He spent several years working for his brother-in-law and sister in Farmington.
When Sandravelis decided to open his own restaurant, he was circling less than a hundred miles from Farmington. One evening he saw an old catering business in Pinckneyville. He stopped at the Moto Mart to ask who owned the building. The answer was that it belonged to a bank.
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The next day he was away, he called the bank. They told him they were working on a sale, so Sndravelis put the idea on the back burner.
A few months later, Sandravelis wondered about the building. He called and found the sale had failed. Sandravelis bought the building. They did some painting and cleaning and opened the Grecian Steak House.
Pinckneyville has been home ever since. His daughter Athena Luthy was three years old when the restaurant opened. She grew up in business. His daughter Chrisoula is now 12 and growing up in the restaurant.
“She’s really growing in the business. She came from the hospital straight here,” Luthy said.
“I love Pinckneyville. Pinckneyville is a good town,” Angelo Sandravelis said.
“Steaks are our specialty, and we have a buffet,” Angelo Sandravelis said.
Angelo is the head chef, with Hrisoula in charge of the buffet.
Their steaks are delicious and popular with those who frequent the restaurant.
The buffet is also a good choice and offers a delicious mix of dishes. You can find a salad bar, main courses and sides, fruit and a variety of desserts.
Luthy said the buffet dishes change daily, but there are some constants. Sirloin steak is on the buffet for lunch every Friday. Sunday always offers smoked prime rib at the restaurant. Another Sunday staple is homemade chicken and dumplings.
“We make everything here – everything from scratch – and we cut our steaks by hand. I think the big important thing is that we are not commercial, not a franchise. We are still a small family business,” said Luthy said.
Luthy added that working in a restaurant in a small town is more than work. Your customers become a family.
Angelo Sandravelis said he has lived in Pinckneyville most of his life and has no plans to move or retire, although he has some things he would like to do.
“Working is good for the body and the mind. I could possibly reduce my expenses, but I am not planning a traditional retirement,” said Angelo Sandravelis.