Michigan’s Finest Area Eats: Greek specialties from scratch served for 49 many years at Theo & Stacy’s in downtown Kalamazoo

Versie Dortch

KALAMAZOO, MI – Theo and Stacy’s has been serving Greek specialties in downtown Kalamazoo for 49 several years.

Stacy Skartsiaris and her late husband Theo Skartsiaris immigrated from Greece and commenced a restaurant because they desired positions and understood how to cook dinner, Skartsiaris reported.

“We operate a very clean up cafe, good food stuff and superior provider,” she stated.

They opened the cafe, at 234 W. Michigan Ave., in 1973. There have been 3 Theo & Stacy’s areas throughout Kalamazoo County at a single issue, but the two others shut as Skartsiaris’ sisters retired.

Skartsiaris, 76, is at the restaurant from open to near, six days a week. They are shut on Sunday after her daughter compelled her to get time off.

She did not know English when they initial opened, and discovered the language by talking with her consumers. Now, 49 yrs afterwards, Skartsiaris is nevertheless talking to buyers

“I’ve been right here so numerous several years,” Skartsiaris mentioned. “I know a great deal of men and women. I see the kids. I see the grandkids. I’m part of this community because I’ve been below 49 decades.”

Skartsiaris is aware most of her buyers. There’s the gentleman that drives in from Richland every single working day for breakfast and the attorneys and courthouse staff who cross Michigan Avenue for lunch.

She is a form and providing girl, longtime Theo & Stacy’s buyer Lionel Ford claimed. He has been coming for yrs, and the workers is aware of his go-to lunch is a patty soften — on complete wheat, with no onions.

The food items and Skartsiaris herself maintain bringing him back.

Skartsiaris rolls the grape leaves by hand, helps make the tzatziki sauce and augolemono soup from scratch and even can make her personal vegan gyro “meat.”

The unique gyro capabilities a mixture of seasoned beef and lamb. The gyro sandwich is served with French fries for $10.50.

One particular of the a lot of Greek specialties on the menu is mousakás. It has layers of eggplant and sautéed ground beef, and is topped with béchamel sauce. The dish is served with rice for $12.

The eatery hosts Greek vegan nights that are really preferred with the neighborhood, she mentioned. They check out to do them regular, but they are on pause until finally Sept. 9 to give Skartsiaris time to get well from an forthcoming knee alternative.

Cleanliness is significant to the cafe. Tongs or gloves are utilised any time foodstuff is touched. No one particular touches meals with bare arms, Skartsiaris mentioned.

She does not look at herself as previously mentioned many others at the restaurant as its proprietor. She mentioned she sights everyone — from herself to the staff members washing dishes — as the identical. Lots of of the servers and cooks have been with Theo and Stacy’s for several years. A person cook dinner has been with her 30 many years, Skartsiaris stated.

“You have to regard persons to have them regard you back,” she explained. “Yes, we do have our negative times, but base line I regard them a good deal from the base to the best.”

It is an mindset of positivity that helps Theo and Stacy’s prosper. Skartsiaris said she does not feel detrimental considered and expects the very best outcome since a “positive attitude will work.”

Theo & Stacy’s is open up 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is shut on Sunday.

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