On the corner of Kingsland Blvd. and Highway 99 in Katy, TX is a hidden gem called Pappa Gyros serving Greek-American food, managed and co-owned by Christos Batsios.
I first heard of this restaurant at the Greek Festival of Saint Basil the Great in West Houston, TX. During the festival many restaurants owned by Houston Greek and non-Greek provide free food for the hundreds of volunteers working the festival. Pappa Gyros was one of them and I was one of the volunteers eating lunch. The food was very good and everyone commented on the taste and quality.
At the first opportunity, my wife and I went to Pappa Gyros for lunch and to thank them for their generosity to our Church. I was very surprised to meet this young Greek-American, Christos Batsios. After meeting this well-mannered young man with a great big smile, I wanted to find out more and to share his story with all of you. We arranged a meeting to sit and talk about him.When I arrived, he surprised me by introducing his father George Batsios and Christos wanted the article to be about his father and not about him. Another sign of good upbringing and respect for family.
Christos Batsios (George’s father) immigrated to the U.S. in 1967 with his family from a fishing village called Psarades by the Great Lakes of Prespes in Florina, Macedonia, Greece.
Like most Greeks, the family started working in their extended family’s restaurants for a few years while going to night school to learn English. A few years later, Christos Batsios moved his family to Michigan and opened his own restaurant there. George enrolled at Michigan State University in political science. Upon graduation, he worked in political science but his heart wasn’t in it. He went back to the restaurant business with his siblings and later started working for a large, upscale chain of restaurants across the U.S. by the name Landry’s Seafood and Steakhouse in a management position. Some years later, he was transferred to Houston, TX.
After starting a new chapter in his life, he moved his family to Houston and not long after that he purchased a failing Italian restaurant at 6734 Westheimer Lakes N Dr. in Katy, TX by the name of Sapore Ristorante and transformed it into a very well-loved restaurant. Once again, the hard work of a Greek-American family takes a failing business and transformed it into an American success story. In 2017, George along with his son Christo who was ready to manage another restaurant, found another failing restaurant, purchased it, and created Pappa Gyros serving authentic Greek food. In less than a year, it was so popular, the space needed to be expanded.
George Batsios is a man that lived and fulfilled the American Dream with honor, hard, work, education, and always putting his family first and business second. He tells his son Christos always make time for your family, as Christos got married two years ago and will raise a family of his own.
George’s father Christos Batsios like many Greeks made the sacrifice of leaving everything behind and coming to the U.S., with the help of his sister who lived in New York, he created a great opportunity and future for his children and grandchildren.
In that spirit, George Batsios and his wife Sofia continue and pass it to the next generation of the Greek-American Batsios Family.
May God bless them all.
Pappa Gyros is located at 23255 Kingsland Blvd. in Katy, TX.
More information is available online: pappagyros.com.