MILFORD, CT – Restaurants and stores began reopening in Connecticut, with limits, on May 20, the New York Times reported, adding that the state was less affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than its neighboring state of New York.
Among those reopening is Pop’s Family Restaurant in Milford, owned by the Grigoriadis family, where “regulars were waiting outside for the diner to open at 9 AM,” Ipakoi Grigoriadis told the Times.
Though Pop’s was open, only outdoor seating was available, like other restaurants in the state, the Times reported, noting that Pop’s “planned to gradually expand service to half of its capacity.”
“Servers would be wearing gloves and masks at all times,” Grigoriadis told the Times, adding that “patrons would be expected to wear masks ‘except when they are eating and drinking.’”
“Stores and malls in Connecticut must also maintain a capacity of 50 percent and adopt stringent cleaning procedures,” the Times reported, noting that “masks are required, and seating areas like food courts will stay closed.”
According to Pop’s website, the restaurant’s founder Kostandinos Grigoriadis, called Gus, immigrated to the U.S. from Kassos, Greece, in 1975, at the age of 17. Like so many immigrants, he came with only what he was wearing and no money in his pocket. Gus began as a dishwasher and years of hard work in the restaurant business in New York followed. He married his wife Julia and they began their family.
In 1991, he took the opportunity and moved his wife and three daughters from the Bronx, NY to Milford, CT, where he opened, Pop’s as a donut shop on 587 New Haven Avenue. After several years, a Dunkin Donuts was opening right across the street. Grigoriadis decided to change his business model, renovating and reopening as a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. After 22 years in the same location, Pop’s moved to 134 Old Gate Lane on July 8, 2013. The Grigoriadis family continues to work hard at doing what they love to do.