George Stefanidis - The Big Easy

Tucked away on a corner of Thurman Avenue in German Village is the life of Easy Street Café owner George Stefanidis. When you walk through the doors and are greeted by the faces of stars like Ted Williams, Mick Jagger, the Blues Brothers and Frankenstein, it can be a little bit perplexing, but not so much after you get to know Stefanidis. After a brief talk with the warm and personable Greek, it’s obvious why these images stare back at you while you’re digging into your gyro.
“Everything about this place is me,” says Stefanidis. “I have these pictures on the wall because they are things in my life that I’ve enjoyed, and pretty much everything about this place is me opening my life to my customers.”
Stefanidis is not shy about talking to customers and beaming about patrons enjoying his food; it runs in his family of course. Born in Greece and brought to Columbus via Boston and Montreal, numerous members of his family have owned diners and restaurants. Like most kids who have family
members who own restaurants, Stefanidis can remember putting hours in at all of the family-run establishments.
“I can remember sitting there as a kid and watching the way that my uncles would work the counter and talk to customers,” says Stefanidis. “I really admired watching them work so hard and make so much of themselves when English wasn’t even their first language.”
The two Easy Street restaurant locations carry with them the same standards his uncles and the rest of his family built their tradition on. His family is scattered all through the two locations, his father helps out in the kitchen and his niece and nephew run the Powell location. It’s a family affair, a Greek family affair, which is evident when you hear nothing but Greek in his restaurants going back and forth, which Stefanidis says was the only option to speak inside the walls of his house growing up.
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