My father and family created the Hellenic Snack Bar & Restaurant in 1976!
What started as a six-stool shack, famous for its fresh, made-to-order lemonade is now a 250 seat indoor/outdoor restaurant and caterer.
(we're still famous for our lemonade)
Ferry Tales I & II are a collection of personal, introspective and comical stories about my life in a restaurant that started by accident in the middle of nowhere.
In 1976 a simple real estate transaction affected my life forever. "Brown's Cabins" on the North Fork of Long Island became "Hellenic Cabins & Snack Bar." My father, a Greek immigrant, poured his efforts into the Snack Bar portion of the business. Unaware of his incredible, gifted palate, he created a landmark restaurant, by accident, in the middle of nowhere; a business affected by the cross migration of travelers using the ferry terminal at the end of the island. "Ferry Tales" is about a seed planted over thirty years ago grown into a bonsai tree, groomed by the evolution of its clients, trained by a business that is either a madhouse or empty, rooted in Greek culture, potted in a region that bears the geographic uniqueness of the Garden of Eden, and nurtured by a gateway across America. It is based on comical, real events, belabored by the stresses of a successful family business, and fixed in the history and culture of a unique area, poised as the next great wine region of America.
On a bright and sunny Fourth of July day in 1976, an eighty-year-old snack bar became the Hellenic Snack Bar, situated in the middle of the greatest potato farming region on the east coast of the United States. Fast-forward to 2016, and the same family-owned 250-seat Hellenic Snack Bar & Restaurant stands at the tail-end of the three thousand acres of grapes that traded places with the potatoes. The focus on wine has changed the rural landscape dramatically. Owner George Giannaris shares the history of the restaurant, recipes, comical short stories and his philosophical insights.