“I can’t tell you how many new people I get to meet every day,” says Niko Fotopoulos. “I love it. My customers are amazing.” Amazing is a word you will hear Niko say quite often. His customers are amazing. His mother is amazing. His work crew is amazing. Sadly, he has to describe his late father George in the past tense. “He was an amazing guy.” George passed away suddenly in January of 2017.
Niko is also a pretty amazing guy. He operates one of two restaurants his family owns in Elkhart. George’s Gyros on Bristol Street is a go-to spot for many hungry Elkhartans. Loyal customer Shawn Hannon says, “I see Elkhart friends from all walks of life in the restaurant, and Niko appears to treat all of us as valuable patrons.”
“My dad’s passing away was tough,” Niko says. “But our family hunkered down and made things go. The whole town of Elkhart supported us.”
Niko says his father taught him the ins and outs of the restaurant business. “Honestly,” he says, “I learned everything by watching my mom and dad.” Shawn Hannon adds, “Niko treats his customers with an easy familiarity reminiscent of his father, yet distinctly his own. He has a crew of friendly workers who are quick to smile and efficient while they work.” Niko’s father would be proud to hear that.
Running a restaurant is hard work. Running a restaurant successfully is even more of a challenge. You can tell by talking to Niko or watching him in action that the hospitality business is part of his DNA. Niko stands out as a welcoming host and strong business owner. “I like to make everybody happy,” he says.
In those few hours he gets to be away from the restaurants, Niko and Kelsey, his wife of eight months, like to check out “the stuff that Elkhart has going on and hanging out with friends.”