Spiros was born in Athens, Greece and came to America when he was just eight years old. His family came over by boat and docked at Ellis Island , New York. They lived in New York for five years before moving to California.
In California, Spiros’ parents were in and out of the restaurant business. His Mom’s cooking developed a fantastic reputation among the Greek community, and was often referred to as the best!. His mom became well-known for her dessert Baklava.
Spiros worked in the family restaurants from his teens. He also was in the construction field as a General Contractor. It was always his dream to build his own restaurant.
Spiros and Shelly met and married in Southern California, and soon moved to Northern California. Here Spiros saw the opportunity in Suisun City to build his own restaurant on the Waterfront, and Shelly supported his vision. Seeing great potential, they decided to invest in the redevelopment area on the Waterfront in Suisun City and Spiros fulfilled his dream of building his own restaurant. That was June 1996. To this day he still loves the restaurant business.
Spiros and Shelly make a great team. Not many couples can work together but these two really enjoy it (ninety nine percent of the time). Shelly enjoys working with the customers and looks forward to making someone’s day a little brighter by making sure their dining experience is pleasant. She strives to create a consistently satisfying experience for her customers, beginning with the greeting at the door to the smile on all the servers faces to the delicious food.
“ I really feel great when I know we have created a little retreat for someone to take a break in the day to relax, enjoy the food and atmosphere and then return home or to work feeling happy and satisfied because of their experience at the Athenian Grill,” Shelly says.
"Challenging" pretty much sums up the life of a small, independent restaurant owner these days. Unpredictable income and expenses, demanding schedules, long days, longer nights . . . So why do we do it? We love excellent food, great company, and being part of a supportive community. We love it so much, that we actually live above our restaurant. Really!
We hope you'll join us for a casual meal, and keep us in mind for a take-out meal or take-out catering. We look forward to seeing you here soon!
Spiros and Shelly Kontogiannis
Owners, Athenian Grill
We believe in giving back to our community, and support fundraisers for NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement Heather House, Matt Garcia Foundation, Soroptimist International and many more organizations.
We support the local High Schools' Armijo, Fairfield, and Rodriguez High teachers by donating fifty dollar gift certificates for Teacher of the Month.
To help recognize students of these schools and Vacaville Christian School, we donate monthly awards that teachers can present to a student who has demonstrated kindness or respect or to a student who has improved grades. This award entitles the student to a free lunch at the Grill. The program works!
Check out this article in the Dec. 1 Daily Republic to see how it affected just ONE student.