The last Greek owner of the Paris Coffee shop in Fort Worth, Texas – Mike Smith – has recently passed away and while it’s in new hands now the legacy remains Greek to the core.
The Star-Telegram recalled the long history of a favorite comfort good stop for the hungry in the city, started around 1926 when Greek immigrant Victor Paris opened it and then sold it to Gregory Smith.
He was born Grigorios Acikis and ran the beloved restaurant until the 1960’s when his son took over, the line ending with his death even if the fare will go on.
Writer Carol Roark has a personal connection to the restaurant. She and a breakfast group ate there for more than 30 years, along with regulars from St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, men sitting around a round table.
They were an important part of Mike’s connection with the Greek community, and he talked about becoming a group regular once he retired. My guess is that one of them gave him the “Parking for Greeks only – all others will be towed” sign displayed behind the cash register.